Christmas illuminations light up face of basement fall Michael

Proud mum Amanda with Michael after the youngster switched on Jenners' Christmas lights
Proud mum Amanda with Michael after the youngster switched on Jenners' Christmas lights
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A MUM whose young son suffered horrific injuries after plunging from a first-floor window has spoken of his struggle to recover.

Amanda Johnston was horrified when four-year-old Michael fell 15 feet into a basement void six weeks ago.

The freshly lit Jenners hall

The freshly lit Jenners hall

The distraught 22-year-old was rushed to the Sick Kids hospital with her son as paramedics battled to keep him alive. The youngster suffered a fractured skull and bleeding in his brain as a result of the accident in King’s Road, Portobello, on September 30.

Doctors had to carry out emergency surgery and told Amanda he might not survive.

Today, she said: “I was told to take each hour at a time because he might not make it. I really thought I might lose him.”

Surgeons at the specialist hospital carried out a second lifesaving operation and Michael, who also broke his arm in the fall, spent two weeks in intensive care.

Amanda sent Michael’s twin, Josh, to stay with his aunt and spent weeks sleeping at the hospital to be close to him. Despite the nature of his injuries Michael was able to return home on Thursday to be with his brother, mum and her partner, Wahid Ali, 26.

Although not completely recovered, the nursery pupil was chosen to switch on Jenners’ Christmas lights yesterday because of the brave way he fought to get better.

Recalling the night of the accident, Amanda told the Evening News: “I was tidying the living room and Josh came running in and said Michael had fallen out the window.

“It was horrific. I couldn’t believe what had happened. We were on the first floor but it was two windows up and he was lying on the open basement.

“We were taken to the Sick Kids and he was in for more than six weeks. He had two operations and was in intensive care for the first two weeks.

“My twin sister, Stephanie, took Josh and I was by Michael’s bedside for weeks. I practically lived in the hospital.”

Michael was kept sedated for two weeks while specialist consultants monitored his progress.

Amanda said it was a difficult time for all the family.

“Everyone pitched in, my mum, Kim, sister, partner Wahid, all the family, but it was a very difficult time,” she said. “There were tubes everywhere to keep him going and it was touch and go for ages. I thought he might pass away in his sleep.

“I went through all sorts of emotions. I was really upset, then angry at what had happened. I still don’t know how the accident happened.

“I was very anxious in the first weeks as well, it was just a nightmare to go through.

“I tried to bring Josh to see his brother but Michael still had a feeding tube and it was a bit too distressing.”

After two weeks her son was able to be transferred to the high dependency ward, where he remained for several weeks, before moving to ward seven.

Amanda believes the efforts of the hospital staff and consultants were crucial to Michael making such a speedy recovery.

She said: “Everyone was just fantastic. The nurses were so dedicated and were so supportive all the way through.

“Dr Jerard Ross was fantastic as well. He would take the time to talk me through what was going to happen to Michael and it meant a lot to us.”

Michael is still getting better and has some difficulty with walking, but this is expected to return to normal in time.

He has also been left tired after the treatment but was well enough to press the big button to illuminate the historic department store yesterday. The opportunity for him to do so was donated by local businessman Mark Maclean.

Amanda said: “We were so proud that Michael was chosen to switch on the lights yesterday.

“He’s only been out a few days so it was such a boost for him. He’s also not seen his brother much and it’s something they’ve been able to do together.

“It’s been such a shock, it’s hard to look back and imagine what happened.

“He’s just a bit wobbly at the moment. We’re quite hopeful he’ll fully recover and we can put it all behind us.”