Miracle tot on the road to recovery

MIRACLE tot Mason Forbes-Aitkens is on the road to recovery today.After defying the odds and battling to survive, the three-year-old has developed into a happy, lively toddler.

MIRACLE tot Mason Forbes-Aitkens is on the road to recovery today.

After defying the odds and battling to survive, the three-year-old has developed into a happy, lively toddler.

Two years ago Mason fell into a bucket of water at his Ipswich home and stopped breathing.

Doctors told his parents he would not survive and one nurse said he was brain dead from top to bottom, left to right.

But Mason defied all odds and is today attending school and making huge progress in his recovery.

When The Evening Star visited the family last year, Mason could not stand or talk and was fed mainly through a nastrogastric tube, feeding food from his nose to his stomach.

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Helen Forbes, Mason's mum, said: "He is babbling away a little bit more now and has started to move his legs, before he wouldn't at all.

"He makes a few more different noises and is always laughing now.

"He feeds well and eats from the time he gets up – he loves his food.

"We are expecting him to keep improving now and we have got good faith.

"To come this far considering what we were told before is an amazing miracle. "Everyone thinks their child is special but he is a miracle."

The accident happened in August 2003 when Mason wandered into the garden of the family's King's Way home.

His parents searched anxiously for their baby son and eventually discovered him upside down in a bucket.

Mason was taken to Ipswich Hospital and later transferred to Addenbrooke's where he was hooked up to a life support machine.

Surrounded by his family, Mason was christened two weeks later and the machine was switched off.

Then, as his parents prepared to say goodbye to the youngster, baby Mason made an almighty cough.

Despite defying the odds to survive, Mason's brain was damaged in the accident and doctors were unsure if he would ever stand, speak or eat for himself.

Miss Forbes, 28, added: "The hospital is pleased with his progress and he is improving.

"He has done really well and I am really proud of him – he is such a good boy."

Mason also now attends Heathside Special School twice a week and is settling in well with his new friends.

Miss Forbes added: "He enjoys being at school and you know he has had a good day at school because he comes and all he does is sleep.

"It is brilliant really you get to see how he is reacting because you have a notebook saying what he has done. They say he has settled in really well and I'm glad he is getting what he needs at school.

"He sees nurses and physiotherapists in the sensory room and he is swimming and doing really well."

Mason relies on a host of equipment to make his life more comfortable including a standing frame which he can now stand in for more than 15 minutes.

His parents also spent much of last year fundraising for some sensory lights and these have now been installed in Mason's bedroom.

A sponsored walk from Felixstowe to Ipswich was held and raised more than £2,700.

Neville Aitkens, 40, Mason's dad, said: "We just want to thank say thanks for everything people have done for us, all the help they have given and the support. We are just overwhelmed really with what people have done to help him get his lights and we just want to thank everyone that helped and sponsored. We must give thanks to the Lord."

Miss Forbes added: "We have had a lot of support in the community and everyone has been great. A lot of people have offered to lay on things and anything needs doing again people have offered to help."

The family will need to buy new items for Mason as he grows but fundraising came to a standstill when the tot has a series of chest infections earlier in the year.

Mason was hospitalised on three occasions and was struggling to breathe but he has now pulled through and has been a healthy youngster for the past two months.

He continues to have regular check-ups at Ipswich Hospital and his mum said his doctor deserves praise for his care of Mason.

She added: "His doctor, Doctor James, is wonderful – he really is great.

"Every little thing he gets to the bottom of and he is like a friend really.

"We also want to thank the staff at Bergholt ward and CHAMP (the Child Health Assessment and Monitoring project) at Ipswich Hospital."

With the help of staff at Ipswich Hospital, East Anglian Children's Hospice and Heathside School, Mason is now getting the expert attention he needs to flourish.

Mr Aitkens added: "He is a happy little boy now and he didn't used to be. He would always be crying and kept having muscle spasms but now he will giggle."

N The family would like to thanks Staples for donating everything they needed to make T-shirts for their sponsored walk.

They also wish to thank MD Travel Hire who provided a coach to Felixstowe on the day.

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