Mum of little Robbie Shaw (12) is delighted at 'miraculous' recovery after crash
The mother of a schoolboy football star who made a "miraculous" recovery after being struck by a car has said she drew strength from support she received from bereaved parents who had lost loved ones in road tragedies.
Royal Belfast Academical Institute second year pupil Robbie Shaw was left fighting for his life with critical head injuries after being knocked down on the Ballygowan Road on the outskirts of east Belfast in December.
But the 12-year-old is expected to leave hospital on Friday - and his family is planning to treat him with a Chinese takeaway and Match of the Day catch-up.
The young east Belfast footballer - who plays for Northern Ireland, Bangor FC Youth and attends Manchester United Academy - was in a coma for 10 days, watched over by his family, who endured the "worst time" of their lives.
"We didn't know if he would ever wake up," mum Lauren said.
But since emerging from the coma, his recovery has gathered pace, aided by what Lauren described as a "real sporting strength" her son is blessed with.
She now has no doubt her brave boy will soon be back playing the sport he loves and will be back at school by March.
Lauren said her son's fortunes stood in sharp contrast to the terrible toll of fatal road accidents across Northern Ireland in recent weeks.
"I've been contacted by a lot of people who have lost their sons and they've said they hope Robbie's okay," she added.
Lauren also told how she had been overwhelmed by gestures from people who had lost a child offering comfort to her and husband Keith. "It's like a community of support and I guess you have to cling to something," she said.
"I've wondered what was different about my Robbie, and I think that it was his great physical strength that got him through it. But he has got mad mental strength too."