The Cork toddler who was severely injured in a hit-and-run incident last month has been diagnosed with a brain injury, his parents have revealed.
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 CUH to Temple Street Children’s Hospital by ambulance for treatment after the accident and remains at the hospital.
In a statement, Zac’s parents, Paul and Ashling revealed that the Mahon toddler has been diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) of the brain and that he has been taken out of the Intensive Care Unit.
“To say we are devastated is an understatement,” they added.
“We don't know what the future holds for little Zac but we do know we will be by his side every step of the way.
“It's going to be a very long road to recovery but we have faith in god and want everyone to continue to pray for a miracle.” They also thanked everyone for their continued support.
Speaking on RedFM, Ms Higgins said that Zac is breathing on his own but that it is now a “waiting game” to see how much his brain injury affects him.
“He was smiling and to me, that told me he was there, he was in there smiling,” she added.
“The ICU doctors said his vision might be affected, we have to wait and see.” Ms Higgins said that Zac’s age might stand to him in his recovery.
“The doctors told me that if it happened to an older person, they’d find it very hard and might not come back from it but because he’s young, there’s a chance he can.” Friends of the Higgins family recently launched a fundraising drive to help with the long-term costs of toddler Zac’s medical care and rehabilitation.
With a long period of rehabilitation ahead, the family are working out a system of constant support for Zac while also getting older brother and sister Max (7) and Belle (4) back to a normal routine as much as possible.
The GoFundMe page for Zac has so far raised almost €30,000, almost half of the original €50,000 goal.