Sunday 15 September 2019

Over €20,000 raised for toddler seriously injured in Cork hit-and-run

Paul Higgins with son Zac (2)
Paul Higgins with son Zac (2)

Ralph Riegel

AN APPEAL set up to help a toddler left fighting for his life after a hit and run has raised almost half of its €50,000 target in just 48 hours.

Little Zac Higgins (2) remains in a serious but stable condition in Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin after suffering head and chest injuries in the hit and run incident off Cork's Skehard Road on March 25.

His parents Paul Higgins and Aisling Sexton said they have been "totally overwhelmed" by messages of support, gifts and offers of special excursions for Zac once he recovers.

A GoFundMe campaign was launched for Zac with the aim of raising €50,000 to help the family with their medical, travel and rehabilitation costs.

Organisers were astonished when it had raised almost €25,000 within 48 hours.

Doctors will this week attempt to ease the toddler from a medically induced coma.

Tests so far have indicated the little boy is not believed to have suffered any permanent brain trauma.

Aisling said it was "a miracle" that Zac survived such a severe impact.

Little Zac was left with multiple critical injuries when he was struck by Mazda saloon shortly before 4pm as he played near his Cork home.

The car, which had four occupants, fled the scene and left the toddler semi-conscious on the roadway in front of his Castle Meadows home off the Skehard Road.

He was initially rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) before being transferred by ambulance to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin for specialist care.

His horrified mother initially thought her injured son was just "a little ball lying on the road."

“(Zac) got a big knock to his tummy but it didn’t damage anything," Aisling said.

"There are all kinds of broken bones including a broken collar bone. Please God, they will all heal."

"The (Temple Street) hospital staff said they couldn’t believe it – it’s a miracle that he is alive at all."

"Zac took the full brunt of the impact and it was at high speed too. Zac is still in an induced coma and all we can do is hold his hand, pray for him, sing to him, you know.

"That is all we can do. I would give anything to swap places with my little boy. I have prayed, prayed and prayed that he will wake up and be OK,” the young mother sobbed.

Zac was hailed by his father, Paul, as "a little warrior."

The furious father also slated as "heartless bastards" the occupants of the car that left his son lying critically injured in the roadway.

The GoFundMe campaign was launched with the support of local friends and family including Zac's uncle, Alan, family friends Councillor Chris O'Leary and Sean Fitzgerald as well as Ringmahon Rangers chairman Vincent Noonan.

Paul and Aisling have two other children, Max (7) and Belle (4).

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News