Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Boy, 5, spent nine days in coma after a horror bike crash

A mum has urged parents to get their kids a cycle helmet this Christmas after her five-year-old boy spent nine days in a coma after a horror bike crash.

Nikki Barnes, 28, said her son Marli Barnes suffered two skull fractures and a broken shoulder in the terrifying incident, which left him fighting for his life in hospital.

The lad had been playing yards from his home in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, when he jumped on a friend’s “rust bucket” bike and rode down a steep hill.

But as the bicycle had no breaks, he then went steaming into a 4ft high garden wall at the bottom, before being flung head-first into the side of a house.

Horrified Nikki found her unconscious son receiving CPR from neighbours minutes later – prior to an air ambulance arriving on the scene.

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Doctors later told her and Marli’s dad, Dean Collinson, 32, to “prepare for the worst” as they feared he might not wake up from his induced coma.

Remarkably, Marli regained consciousness just over a week later, and while he’s since recovered, concerns remain about his long-term development.

Nikki is now urging parents who buy their kids bikes this Christmas to make sure that they get them a helmet as well.

She said: “They might not look good, it’s not a cool thing to be wearing, but they do and will save your child’s life. Marli got lucky, another child might not get as lucky. They could sustain more injuries than him.

“As a mum, having to watch my five-year-old son get CPR at the scene and knowing he wasn’t breathing, it’s been traumatic.”

Full-time mum Nikki said Marli had been playing with a big group of his pals on September 3 this year on his quiet cul-de-sac shortly before the incident.

She told him to remain near his home as she prepared his dinner, but he decided to walk to the top of his street, which sits on a very steep hill, and ride his friend’s bike to the bottom at speed.

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Nikki said: “Not even five minutes after having that conversation with Marli, I had two men walking down the garden path, and I thought ‘Oh gosh, what’s he done now?’

“They just told me that my son was unconscious, passed out in somebody’s garden. I literally just ran. I didn’t even wait to know where he was.

“When I got there, there was an elderly couple, and an 80-year-old man was lying on the floor with Marli giving him CPR.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was so surreal. The bike was way too big for Marli. It had no breaks. It was a rust bucket basically.”

She added: “The couple said Marli had hit their home so hard that they thought something had fallen over upstairs.”

Three ambulances arrived five minutes later, with paramedics giving Marli oxygen as he had a series of seizures.

An air ambulance then whisked him to Leeds General Infirmary, where he was diagnosed with base and frontal skull fractures and a broken shoulder.

Nikki said: “The first thing Marli said coming around – he shouted ‘mum’ three times. We all just cried. It was just so surreal that he actually spoke.

“We were only in hospital two days after he woke up. He literally bounced back. He was walking after he woke up.”

Marli and Nikki are now raising money to buy helmets for local kids in time for Christmas.

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