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Mother's hope for injured son

PUBLISHED: 03:48 26 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

MARGARET White looked at the photograph of her smiling son Paul and said: ''Whatever the doctors say, keep on trying and do not give up hope.''

The picture of Paul, 22, taken at Colchester's John Groom home for people with disabilities, is a shining example to other families who have watched a loved one try to recover from a terrible road accident.

MARGARET White looked at the photograph of her smiling son Paul and said: ''Whatever the doctors say, keep on trying and do not give up hope.''

The picture of Paul, 22, taken at Colchester's John Groom home for people with disabilities, is a shining example to other families who have watched a loved one try to recover from a terrible road accident.

Paul, of Orchard Close, Melton, near Woodbridge, suffered severe brain damage when the car he was a passenger in was involved in a late night crash outside Foxhall Stadium in May last year.

A business studies student at Suffolk College, he had been to the cinema in Cardinal Park, Ipswich, and was returning home when the car hit a tree by the stadium entrance.

The young man was so badly injured he almost died. While in a London neuro disability unit he was under the instruction of ''do not resuscitate,'' close to being in a vegetative state, and doctors at three hospitals feared he would die or never be able to do anything for himself.

But today, due to the efforts of staff and work undertaken by Paul's family, he has a brighter future. During his rehabilitation he has become alert, makes facial movements, and hears and recognises his parents Brian and Margaret, and his sister Ruth.

Paul can now hold an object between a finger and thumb and responds when music from his favourite groups, Beautiful South and The Levellers, is played, or a video is put on showing Friends, Cold Feet or Harry Enfield.

These are small, but significant, steps on the long road to some kind of recovery. The family does not know what the future holds and expects that Paul will never walk again, but they are heartened by his progress.

''It was all very pessimistic at first. We were told the communication between brain and spinal chord had been sheared and he would not do anything at all. In that sense, we are incredibly amazed at what he has done," said Mr White.

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