SHEFFIELD Wednesday players made their pre-Christmas visit to the Children’s Hospital this week - and were able to give an ideal send off for one of the patients, who “miraculously” survived being knocked off his bike by a car.
The Owls stars, who were with manager Dave Jones and chairman Milan Mandaric, met nine-year-old Jac Ashurst, who was in a coma for more than two weeks after the accident.
His family was told he may have only 36 hours to live. Now, after two months on the wards, he is looking forward to being home in Kimberworth, Rotherham, in time for Christmas.
Mum Jane, aged 46, said: “Jac had a very serious road accident and had a fractured pelvis and two broken legs. There was also a chance that he would suffer brain damage.
“Since then he’s made a miraculous recovery and it’s definitely down to his fighting spirit and the amazing doctors and nurses who have looked after him here. We can’t wait to have him home for Christmas and meeting the footballers was such a lovely send-off for him.”
Jac said: “I’ve had a few operations so it was cool showing off my battle scars to the players – they thought I was very brave.
“I know a lot about football and I’ve been playing it on the Playstation while I’ve been in hospital and I’m really good, I even beat my older brother.”
Another patient, 15-year-old Steven Scott, of Manor Top, was able to meet his hero - striker Gary Madine.
Steven, who has a recurrent chest problem which sees him back in hospital every three months, was wearing his team shirt and had decked his bed in a Wednesday duvet cover.
He said: “I’m shocked to meet the team - it is the first time and a dream come true.”
The full Sheffield Wednesday squad visited young patients on Tuesday, delivering toys and signed calendars.
Winger Michail Antonio, said: “It’s great to come along to the hospital and meet the young patients, who are all so brave, and see the fantastic work carried out by the staff.
“No one wants to be in hospital, especially at Christmas time, so seeing the kids smile even though they are having a difficult time, is a very rewarding experience.”
Milan Mandaric, said: “Our relationship with this prestigious hospital and being able to play a part in the community is something the club is extremely proud of.”
Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland said: “Anything we can do to help the kids is very worthwhile.”
Simon Athey, fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said, “It was a fantastic boost for our patients to meet some of their sporting idols. Many of them have been staying in the hospital for quite a long time, so visits like these can be really uplifting.”
Sheffield United players will visit the hospital on Tuesday.