Thousands raised to support Hemel teenager who suffered devastating brain stem injury in collision

A fundraising page has been set up to help with Jack's rehabilitation and recovery

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:56 pm

Thousands of pounds have been raised to help support a 14-year-old boy who suffered extensive brain injuries after being involved in a collision with a car.

Jack Mills, from Hemel Hempstead was on his scooter when he was involved in the collision on Long Chaulden on Thursday, October 14.

Paramedics at the scene found him in an unresponsive, critical condition. Jack was put into an induced coma at the roadside and airlifted by the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance to The Royal London Hospital within 20 minutes.

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Jack

His mum, Caroline, and his dad, Shaun, have been at his bedside every day and night since the accident.

Jack's CT scan revealed a significant brain stem injury and a break to his right leg requiring metal rods and a skin graft.

Devastatingly, soon after admission to the Paediatric Critical Care Unit at The Royal London, Jack suffered a stroke.

Now, a fundraising page has been set up by Jack's aunt, Angela Hunt, to help the family with Jack's rehabilitation and recovery.

Shaun, Jack's dad, said: "His brain injury is not allowing him to wake up, they are hoping that with rehabilitation it will improve.

"If he was over the age of 20 they would have no hope, but because he is only 14, there is hope and that is what we are clinging to.

"The page was set up by Caroline's sister to help with Jack's recovery and rehabilitation.

"I did not want to do this page but when the accident happened and the police came to get us, they drove us with the blue lights on because they thought he would not make it, the police thought we would be saying goodbye to him.

"Thankfully in the last seven days, losing him has come off the table of outcomes and we are now able to dare to think about the future. What future that will be, we do not know yet.

"He might need full time round the clock care, or he might not, we do not know.

"I organise a music event in Bovingdon every year and this year at the event we will be raising money for the air ambulance.

"They saved Jack's life. The air ambulance was on another call nearby and was not needed so they landed within 10 minutes of his accident.

"Without them, it would have been a fatal accident, they gave him a chance.

"We are in awe of the doctors and nurses at The Royal London Hospital. We do not know what type of life he will have, but they have given him a chance to live, the rest is down to him now.

"We do know that the driver had not passed a driving test and did not have a license.

"He has been fined £400 and has 12 points added to a licence - that he doesn't have.

"I implore everyone if you are driving around a residential area you have got to be aware of what and who is around you."

Angela said: "Our Jack is unlikely to ever fully recover from his brain injury and the family are being supported by the Child Brain Injury Trust to come to terms with this devastating news.

"His injury is going to impact his independence and the money is going to fund his ongoing living and support for his family.

"We do not know to what extent that will be at the moment, it is unclear.

"I was inspired by the Top Gear interview with Eddie Kid, who was paralysed and suffered brain damage after a motorbike stunt crash in 1996.

"This gives me hope that Jack could go on to have a fulfilled life of his own.

"Jack’s twin brother Sam is waiting at home in Hemel Hempstead being supported by family and willing for his brother to come through the door so life can return to normal.

"And step-Mum Maria is supporting Jack’s two younger sisters to understand why they haven’t seen their Jack. But this is going to be a very long road for Jack and for his family.

"Without a doubt, the outcomes for patients that can self-fund their rehabilitation are far greater than for those that cannot.

"Jack’s rehabilitation and recovery will include years of rehabilitation at a specialist hospital in another county, intensive physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, specialist equipment, home adaptations, counselling, support for Sam and so very much more.

"Support is needed now and financing Jack's care is going to be ongoing for years to come.

"The response to the page has been amazing, people have been so kind and generous and the family are so humbled."

Jack, who goes to Laureate Academy, has been described by his dad as 'outgoing'.

Shaun added: "He was actually riding his scooter, a normal metal scooter, to the train station to go to meet up with friends in Berkhamsted.

"He was that type of kid, always outside doing things, he is outgoing, always playing with his little sisters and out with his brother.

"One of us has been here 24/7 since the accident, it has been a nightmare for all of us.

"We get hopeful that there might be a chance and then alone with your thoughts all you think about is how Jack used to be, he has lost three stone in weight and is very weak.

“We have to have hope and we are finding strength from all of the support we have received so far. We are really grateful and truly, truly humbled."

Over £21,000 has been raised through the fundraising page - Supporting Jack's recovery from brain stem injury - to make a donation visit: www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-jacks-recovery-from-brain-stem-injury.

The driver of the black Range Rover involved in the collision on October 14, Arunas Butkus, 28, from Chaulden, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to driving whilst otherwise in accordance with a licence and having no insurance.

He appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 2, and was disqualified from applying for or holding a driving licence for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of £500 and court costs of £85.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police said: "Butkus was originally arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in connection with the collision.

"However he was later released with no further action after officers had reviewed all the evidence available to them."

Sergeant David Burstow, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “The Serious Collision Investigation Unit carried out a thorough investigation into the circumstances and following analysis of all the evidence, we found no indication that Butkus was driving in a dangerous or careless manner on that day.

“We appreciate that this is an incredibly difficult time for Jack’s family and friends, who have been kept updated throughout our inquiry, and our thoughts will continue to remain with them.”