THE family of a nine-year-old boy who has been seriously injured in a freak skiing accident abroad are praying for his safe recovery.
Brook Hill, originally from Brown Knowl near Bickerton, was enjoying a beginner’s ski lesson on a family holiday in the South of France last week when an out-of-control skier ploughed into him.
Even though former Bickerton Primary pupil Brook, who lives in Wrenbury, was wearing a crash helmet at the time of the accident on Sunday (February 17), the impact caused him to fall unconscious immediately and he had to undergo emergency treatment on the slopes at Les Monts d’Olmes ski resort in the Pyrenees, before being transferred to Purpan Hospital in Toulouse where he is currently in a coma.
In the days after doctors performed emergency surgery on Brook’s skull, he has showed signs of progress by twitching his limbs and bending his knees, and is displaying ‘a fighting strength’, although the extent of the damage to his brain won’t be known until he wakes up.
Mum Rachael and dad Louis, who handles publicity for events including Cholmondeley’s Pageant of Power, are keeping vigil at his bedside, along with older Brook’s brother Barney, 12.
Speaking to The Chronicle from France, Louis said: “Brook is now stable and we are hoping that he wakes up soon.
“He's a tough little chap and a real fighter so our fingers are crossed.
“It’s still early days and doctors are advising any recovery is likely to be a long process – please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”
Sports-mad Brook, a student at The White House School in Whitchurch, is an under 12s rugby captain and is well known to schools in the Chester area.
His uncle Paul Lewis, who cut short a trip to Chicago to fly to France to be with his nephew described Brook as a ‘constant fundraiser’ who frequently raises money for his favourite charities, including Cancer Research, as well as a ‘big joker’ who loves comedy.
“Brook’s school friends and family have created a website to allow his school friends to contribute jokes which his mother reads to him when they come in,” said Paul, from Tattenhall.
“As a family, we really believe in the power of positive thinking, and the amount of people who tell us they are sending good vibes to Brook through thought is overwhelming.
“We firmly believe this is a massive factor in his recovery and really wish to thank everybody who has cared so much – Brook is very lucky to have so much warmth around him.
“It’s very difficult to determine the damage to Brook’s brain while he is in the coma, so we are willing him to wake up so we can figure what the next step is.
“Listening to music and jokes will be a constant part of his routine until we have another development.”
Paul added: “We are so grateful Brook was wearing a crash helmet. In all honesty, we all ignorantly believe that such accidents only happen to other people, and its a big wake up call when its one of your own.
“Skiing accidents are rare, but they can happen. The power of positive thinking is free, and everyone can do it – please send bundles us of it.”
A website which provides updates on Brook’s progress can be visited at www.caringbridge.org/visit/beingthereforbrookie , with any jokes or supportive messages welcome.
A police investigation into the incident is taking place.