Hitchin mum speaks after freak accident leaves her 16-year-old son with life-changing injuries

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 August 2019

Billy Porter suffered life-changing head injuries after tripping down the stairs. Picture: Scotts of Cambridge

Billy Porter suffered life-changing head injuries after tripping down the stairs. Picture: Scotts of Cambridge

Scotts of Cambridge Photography

The mother of a 16-year-old Hitchin boy who suffered life-changing injuries after a freak accident at home has spoken to the Comet about how his dream of becoming a professional footballer has been crushed.

When Billy Porter woke up on the morning of Wednesday, August 1, he was probably looking forward to enjoying the last month of his summer holiday and spending the day playing football with friends.

But, by the time he was rushed to Addenbroke's Hospital in Cambridge to receive life-saving surgery, his life had changed forever.

Earlier that day Billy had tripped on the stairs at his sister's house, landing head first on a floor tile. His mum, Mary Nunn, describes it as a "freak accident" that could have happened to anyone.

At Addenbroke's, Billy's scan revaled a small bleed on the brain and he had bolt put into his skull to release the rapidly building pressure.

On Saturday, August 10, Billy had an operation to remove the right hand side of his skull, which was badly bruised and damaged. The surgeon later revealed that Billy will have some form of brain damage for the rest of his life.

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Billy will need speech therapy and will learn to walk again at hospital before he is due to come back home just before Christmas.

The one positive came on Monday, when Billy woke up for the first time in 11 days. Mary says that her son's eyes were shut, he struggled to stand up by himself and his words were slurred.

"That was so frightening," Mary says. "It's so hard to watch, there's nothing the family can do."

"When he first woke up, there was a mix of emotion. It was happy and sad tears. He managed a hello and then fell right back to sleep again."

Now, Mary says the future is full of uncertainty. Billy was due to start playing football at the Pro:Direct Academy in Baldock, but doctors have said that he won't play football again.

Mary will be picking up his GCSE results for him next week, and knows that many of his schoolfriends will be rooting for him.

A fundraising page - gofundme.com/f/keep-fighting-billy - has been set up to help the family travel expenses and anything that is needed to help support Billy on his return home. The family is also collecting donations handed in to Hitchin Town Football Club and Molly Malones, among others.

"To see our community coming together like this has been amazing," added Mary.

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