Brave Zac Higgins celebrates his birthday: 'He is a little miracle'

Brave Zac Higgins celebrates his birthday: 'He is a little miracle'
A "little warrior" who nearly died in a hit and run incident in Cork last year is celebrating his fourth birthday today (Wed) having made immense progress with his physical and cognitive difficulties. Zac Higgins, of Mahon in Cork city, was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) to the brain after he was hit by a car outside his home in March of last year. When he was first injured his parents, Aishling and Paul, didn't know if he would make his third birthday four months later.

A "little warrior" who nearly died in a hit and run incident in Cork last year is celebrating his fourth birthday today having made immense progress with his physical and cognitive difficulties.

Zac Higgins, of Mahon in Cork city, was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) to the brain after he was hit by a car outside his home in March of last year. When he was first injured his parents, Aishling and Paul, didn't know if he would make his third birthday four months later.

He was resuscitated at Cork University Hospital before being transferred to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin where he spent 12 days in intensive care. Zac was hospitalised onsite for a further two months and received subsequent treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

Aishling Higgins says that they are delighted with his day to day improvements.

"He progresses everyday. He has issues with his short term memory and he can get confused at times but all in all he is doing really well. It's more cognitive where his problems are because physically he is doing so well.

He went back to early intervention in the Brothers of Charity two weeks ago and he also went back to speech and language therapy at Evolve therapy in Mallow. It is great to be able to get back to some kind of normality."

The Higgins family are having a garden party today to celebrate their "little man" turning four.

"He is super excited for it. He is a little miracle really. This time last year we had a party for him but he didn't really understand what it was all about. But this morning the first thing he said to me was 'Mom will you sing Happy Birthday to me.' He thought it was the best thing ever when we did.

"He is the strongest, funniest little man I know. He has been through so much and he battles on everyday with the biggest smile on his face. Anyone that knows him can see he has this aura around him, that he actually glows, and that he is so special."

Paul Higgins says the family are grateful for the mass outpouring of support they have received since the accident.

"Without our own family and friends we would have been lost and the community of Mahon and afar thank you."

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Zac incurred serious injuries after being knocked down while playing with a ball at Castle Meadows, in Mahon, Cork city, on March 25th of last year. He was hit by a blue Mazda 6 which left the scene.

A successful fundraising appeal was launched at Ringmahon Rangers in Mahon on the southside of Cork city.

Paul volunteers with the club and he and Aishling are known for being helpful members of the local community.

Zac suffered a closed head injury in the hit and run. He has made a remarkable recovery but given his young age it will be several years before the final prognosis is known.

A person has been sentenced before the courts in relation to the incident.

Aishling Higgins has previously said that the accident was the worst day of her life.

" We were just getting ready to go out. Zac was playing football in the garden with his cousin. I just popped into 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.

Doctors subsequently informed them the toddler had suffered a broken collarbone, shoulder blade, a fractured hip and a collapsed lung, a bleed on the brain and a diffuse axonal brain injury.

Aishling said that their "perfect happy healthy little boy” fought the “bravest battle of his life at the tender age of two and eight months.”



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