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Hit-and-run Zac's family give thanks to 'superhero' docs

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Zac Higgins’s parents thanked the doctors who helped him

Zac Higgins’s parents thanked the doctors who helped him

Zac Higgins’s parents thanked the doctors who helped him

A family has paid an emotional tribute to the medical staff who saved their son's life a year on from the horrific hit-and-run outside his Cork home.

Zac Higgins was just two years old when he was playing outside his home last March when he was struck by a speeding car that failed to stop at the scene.

Now, Zac's parents have paid an emotional tribute to the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who helped their little boy start to recover.

"We were just getting ready to go out," his mum Aishling said.

Lifeless

"Zac was playing football in the garden with his cousin. I just popped in to the conservatory to get my coat. My neighbour was standing at the door.

"Someone shouted he was knocked down. I ran out but I couldn't see the child or any car.

"I just looked down at my feet and he was lying there lifeless and bleeding from the head. I screamed for help.

"I will never forget the gut-wrenching feeling that I knew something very serious was wrong. We feared for our little boy, whose life was hanging by a thread."

Zac was put on life support and transferred by ambulance to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.

The toddler had a broken collarbone, shoulder blade, a fractured hip and a collapsed lung, a bleed on the brain and a diffuse axon brain injury.

It was touch and go as to whether he would survive.

Zac spent 12 days in intensive care and another five weeks in hospital, as well as being cared for in the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire.

A fundraising appeal was launched at Ringmahon Rangers in Mahon.

"Zac had his first online session of speech and language therapy yesterday. It went really well," Aishling said.

"He is doing well around the house at the moment but he doesn't really understand why he has no school.

"It was my eldest son Max's birthday a few weeks ago so he bought a bouncy castle out of his birthday money."

In an online video, Zac's dad Paul said that Zac had "smiled and battled through it all" from resuscitation in Cork University Hospital to 12 days in intensive care in Temple Street.

"Many long nights in dark places but this fella's smile makes it all worthwhile," he said.

"To my wife, who's been incredible with Zac, thank you. Thanks to Evolve Therapy Mallow. All hospitals - to Mahon Community preschool and Brothers of Charity for their continuous work with Zac."

"Finally, a huge thank-you to the doctors and more importantly the nurses of St Gabriel's Ward in Temple Street in Dublin - true, everyday superheroes."