An Ayr mum has thanked doctors for saving her son's life - three years after a horror accident that left him paralysed with a shattered skull. 

In January 2021, 12-year-old Barry Wallace suffered life-changing injuries when he was hit by a train's metal footsteps as he disembarked at Prestwick Town Station. 

After being out with friends, Barry stepped off the train and as it began moving away, the metal footstep clipped the back of his leg and he fell hard.

Barry landed on the platform, and the train’s next carriage metal footstep collided with the back of his skull. His brain took a significant blow and his skull shattered.

Paramedics rushed to the scene and he was taken to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow where he was given a CT scan for his significant head injury.  

His skull was fractured into more than ten pieces of bone with some missing and he was left paralysed.

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Surgery was required immediately and neurosurgeon Roddy O’Kane and his team worked through the night to save Barry.

Mr O’Kane explained, “The priority was to let Barry’s brain swell so that it could heal. We needed to remove all the fragments of his shattered skull to allow it to do this.

"This meant that he was without the top of his skull for a few weeks. His surgery was outside of the norm due to the sheer number of pieces of bone fragment that we were dealing with.

“We placed these bone fragments inside of Barry’s abdomen to keep them clean and alive while this healing took place over a few weeks.

“Barry had also broken three of the bones in his spinal column, in the thoracic spine area. Thankfully this did not need any surgery and instead he was given a supportive brace to wear for six weeks.”

Neurosurgeons and neuro-rehab doctors made sure Barry’s brain continued to heal. Following surgery, Barry continued to be paralysed but he pushed on with the hospital’s expert team and, after a few weeks, had movement.

Just weeks after the accident, Mr O'Kane replaced Barry’s skull fragments piece by piece and he was discharged from hospital in April.

 Mum Emma, 41, reveals her son never appeared defeated throughout the whole recovery process.

He said: “Barry never complained once. He put everything into his rehab and worked hard with the medical teams to push himself.

"He returned to school in May while in a wheelchair, getting a taxi every day as his transport.

“By October, he was walking to school and back to being active and having fun with his friends. He just loves life. There’s no other way to explain it.

“He continues to have limited movement in his left arm, but he just gets on with it. He is so resilient."

Emma also shared how grateful they are to the team at the Royal Hospital for Children for giving Barry, now 15, the chance to lead a normal life. 

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She added: “It is three years on since Barry’s accident and it is still incredibly difficult to put our gratitude for everyone at the hospital into words.

"The support that the ward 3A staff and the trauma team gave both me and Barry was unbelievable.

"And as for his surgeon, Roddy, we still can’t believe what he did for Barry. We’re eternally grateful. Our thanks go to everyone involved."