News Irish News

Monday 23 September 2019

Parents 'praying for miracle' as Zac (2) diagnosed with brain injury after hit-and-run

Fighter: Zac Higgins (2), with his dad Paul, was placed in a medically induced coma after the accident near his Cork home
Fighter: Zac Higgins (2), with his dad Paul, was placed in a medically induced coma after the accident near his Cork home

Ralph Riegel

The heartbroken parents of a toddler knocked down in a hit-and-run confirmed an attempt by surgeons to wake him from a medically induced coma revealed the child had suffered a complex brain injury.

It had initially been thought Zac Higgins (2) had escaped brain trauma in the incident as he played by his Cork home on March 25.

The driver of a blue Mazda 6 fled the scene after knocking down the little boy on a street off Cork's Skehard Road.

His mum, Aisling Sexton, has now revealed that when doctors in Dublin's Temple Street Hospital attempted to revive Zac last week, they realised something was wrong.

Subsequent specialist tests revealed he had suffered a diffuse axonal injury (DAI), whereby the brain suffered impact trauma and lesions later formed.

"We are now hoping and praying for a miracle," Aisling said. "We just don't know what the future is going to hold.

"Zac is very young, so that is in his favour. But every individual responds to a DAI differently."

Aisling and her partner, Paul Higgins, acknowledged the past fortnight had been like "a nightmare that you just cannot wake up from".

"He is feisty, so please God he will get there. But we just don't know. It is a waiting game."

She said the hours after doctors revived Zac was like torture.

"On Friday, we were talking to him and he looked at us. I don't think he has any vision at the moment, but he was smiling so he can definitely hear. That gave us hope. We are praying for a miracle now every day."

Aisling admitted it had been "horrendous".

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News