Boy survives being struck on head by 47 stone branch

Sacha Saucek sustatined a brain injury, broke both arms, his right leg, his pelvis, five ribs and a bone in his lower spine.

Sacha, now eight, was on a school outing to Richmond Park when he heard the branch start to fall. He tried to flee, but tripped on a stone and was struck on the head by the branch.

Sacha in hospital after he was struck by a branchSacha's parents, Jo and Igor, were told their son was critically ill and would be 'permanently disabled' if he survived. When he first regained consciousness, Sacha had lost his speech and mobility. before the accident he was a keen swimmer and a high academic achiever.

But he is now walking and talking again.

"It was life or death in July," Jo said. "He's a miracle."

Sacha also suffered a fractured skull, two brain bleeds and a severe rotational brain injury, caused by a blow on the head, which is normally seen in car crash victims. The neurons in his brain were sheered as a result of the impact, and he suffered a grade three injury.

Jo has recently released pictures of his fight for life in central London's Great Ormond Street Hospital and Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Sacha is now receiving residential rehabilitation and is undergoing physiotherapy, occupational and speech and language therapy. He is also following a school-based curriculum from 9am to 3.30pm daily.

Explaining the events of the day, Jo said "He was under a sweet chestnut tree and suddenly he heard a branch come down. It was 100ft high. He and another boy started to run but he tripped and it hit him. I was working nearby and arrived when he was on the ground. I was convinced he was dead. He was unconscious. They stabilised him for the helicopter. It was so shocking. I couldn't believe it was happening. I called my husband and I was taken to the hospital by police."

Sacha's rehabilitationSacha was transported via London's Air Ambulance to accident and emergency at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where medics fought to save him. That same day, he was transferred via ambulance to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he had two hours of surgery to remove a fragment of skull which had embedded in his brain.

Doctors closed his wound up and he stayed in the hospital for 12 days before moving to the John Radcliffe for specialist neurological treatment. For eight days while at Great Ormond Street, he was in an induced coma and remained unconscious until two days after arriving at Oxford. Slowly, he began to make small but promising signs of progress.

"It was amazing," Jo said. "We were told he would be permanently disabled. But he did so well. He started to find his sounds. He began saying, 'hi'. It was lovely to hear. He was physically completely incapacitated because of his head injury and also because he had broken so many bones.

"Luka would sit with him and pull faces and watch YouTube videos with him. Sacha loved it. He laughed before he spoke.

"His speech came back. It was gibberish but then it started to fall into place. Every day there was an improvement. By August we were so impressed."

Sacha is no longer using the wheelchair he previously relied on to get around, and is set to go back to school.

Sacha with his family after his accident
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