A Cork toddler who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run earlier this year is recovering well and celebrated his birthday with a trip to the beach.
Zac Higgins suffered a bleed on his brain, a broken shoulder blade and collarbone, and required his head to be glued after being struck by a car at Castle Meadows on the Skehard Road at around 4pm on Monday, March 25.
He was transferred from Cork University Hospital to Temple Street Children’s Hospital by ambulance for treatment after the accident.
Little Zac suffered a diffuse axonal injury, a serious injury to his brain.
He returned home to Cork in recent weeks to continue his recovery.
Yesterday, he celebrated his third birthday with a day out at the beach with his family.
His father Paul said it was brilliant to see him enjoying himself in the sun.
“He loved the beach,” Paul told The Echo.
“He is doing well in many aspects but still struggling with certain things like holding spoons and fine motor skills.
“His speech is improving every day so that’s a bonus,” he added.
Paul revealed that the family hope Zac will attend the National Rehabilitation Centre in the coming months to continue his recovery.
He said he hopes to see Zac attend the centre in the next three to four weeks and that the toddler is expected to spend up to 12 weeks there.
Zac spent 12 days in the Intensive Care Unit at Temple Street Children’s Hospital following the hit-and run incident, which occurred on March 25.
He then spent around two months at the hospital under constant care.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Zac’s mum Ashling said it was touch and go as to whether Zac would even make it for his third birthday.
“He's the toughest little boy I know to battle against a severe brain injury and to have to re-learn how to do all the basic things that we all take for granted every day,” she added.
“Nobody knows what the future holds but his personality shines through everything - he really is the funniest character and we're lucky to call him our son.”
Friends of the Higgins family launched a fundraising drive following Zac’s injuries to help with the long-term costs of toddler his medical care and rehabilitation.
More than €50,000 has been raised for Zaz’s recovery through the Go Fund Me page and a number of fundraising events since the incident.
The car involved in the incident on March 25, a blue Mazda 6, fled the area but was later found abandoned nearby.
A male teenager was arrested in connection with the incident and was released from Garda custody.
A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.