A BROTHER and sister who were left fighting for their lives following a head-on crash have made an amazing recovery.
Jack and Sophie Handyside suffered serious injuries and were in intensive care following the accident on a country road in County Durham.
Sophie, eight, suffered a fractured skull and broken wrist, while Jack had a bleed on the brain, which was severely swollen.
Their parents were told that Jack may never walk again and surgeons were forced to remove two large parts of his skull after the crash in September.
But the 10-year-old amazed doctors when he walked unaided for the first time.
As Jack was discharged from hospital and Sophie settled back into school, their mother Julie Elstob told of her children’s story of recovery.
The nurse, of Butterknowle, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: “It was horrendous. It was just like a dream, I just couldn’t believe it was happening. They were both in intensive care on a life support machine, side by side in the RVI.
“I can’t put into words what it was like.”
Both children have suffered from short-term memory loss and it is not known how their injuries will improve in the future.
Jack, who was discharged from hospital on Friday after 15 weeks, will also need to return to hospital to replace parts of his skull.
Sophie, who was dubbed ‘Miracle Girl’ by medics was discharged on October 24 and returned back to Butterknowle Primary School just before Christmas.
The youngster is getting back to her normal ways and is enjoying spending time with her two pet rabbits and guinea pig.
In the future it is hoped that Jack, who played rugby for Barnard Castle under-11s and was goalkeeper for his school football team, will return to playing sport.
Julie, 41, said: “It’s amazing how far they have come on. I can’t believe Sophie got out so quick and Jack is now following in her footsteps. He’s doing stuff again that I never believed he would. Over Christmas and New Year it was the first nights we had him home and I can’t believe he’s now been discharged.
“I remember seeing other children walking out of the hospital and I never thought it was ever going to be them.
“I’m just so happy they are both home and on the mend.”
Following the horror crash in Staindrop on September 29, the children were air-lifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where they spent time in the intensive care unit.
The youngsters were travelling in the car with their father Darren, 45, who suffered abdominal injuries and was flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough when the crash, on the A688 near Raby Castle, around 300 yards past the junction for Burnthouses, happened.
A 78-year-old woman from Sunderland, who was driving the other car, a black Vauxhall Corsa, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital.
It is not yet known how the accident happened.