Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Teenager who suffered brain injury in bike accident returns home

A St. Colman’s College student who sustained a brain injury after coming off his mountain bike in Kilbroney Forest Park last month, has returned home to continue his recovery, much to the relief of his worried parents.

Fifteen year old Patrick King was out with friends at the hugely popular trails in Rostrevor when he came off his mountain bike as he was travelling downhill.

The year 11 pupil suffered two broken vertebrae and sustained bruising to the brain in the accident. It is understood his helmet was cracked by the impact of the fall.  Young Patrick was taken to intensive care in Craigavon Area Hospital and placed in an induced coma following the fall.

On Thursday last, his father, former Down GAA player Shane King, said he felt “incredibly blessed and lucky” that Patrick was being discharged from hospital.

Mr King, who played inter-county football for both Down and Fermanagh, had been maintaining a vigil at his son’s bedside along with his wife Elizabeth.

The family had appealed for prayers for young Patrick and  just 10 days after the accident, they reported that he had woken from his coma and that they were hopeful of a recovery.  With Patrick’s recovery coming on leaps and bounds, he was finally allowed to return home last week.

Mr King hailed his son’s recovery as “phenomenal” and said despite some balance and co-ordination difficulties, “everything seems to be going well.”

Patrick’s condition will be monitored over the coming weeks but his parents say they are hopeful he will return to school at St. Coleman’s in Newry within the next month.

“With any head injury it is difficult to say because the recovery time will be different for each person. It has been a very worrying time but everything is heading in the right direction,” added Mr King, who took to social media to thank all well-wishers “from the bottom of my heart” for their thoughts, prayers and support since his son’s accident.