16-year-old Glenridding cyclist defies odds to beat life-threatening head injury after Kirkstone Pass crash (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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16-year-old Glenridding cyclist defies odds to beat life-threatening head injury after Kirkstone Pass crash
A TEENAGER has defied doctors to recover from an accident which could have killed him or left him severely disabled.
Jack Pollock, 16, of Glenridding, suffered a fractured skull after a cycling accident as he rode down Kirkstone Pass last August without a helmet.
The six-footer, then just 15, was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital and was then transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Initially, doctors warned his mum, Helen Beaty, and father Ken Pollock, that he might not survive.
Jack lost a stone-and-half in hospital and was fed food and liquid by tube for 29 days.
But less than eight weeks after the accident he was back at Ullswater Community College and has been out again on a bike and has hopes of playing competitive football for his local team, Ullswater United.
Speaking of the accident, Jack told the Gazette: “I don’t remember anything of the day. I’ve been on bikes since then — just for going to the shops. I’ll be wearing a helmet from now on.”
Mum Helen, 49, who runs a B&B, recalled how she was returning home and had pulled over to let a police car and van past; unaware that they were heading to the accident scene.
On discovering the news, Ms Beaty rushed to the scene with her daughter Beth, 13, but was prevented by police from getting to her only son who had suffered massive blood loss.
Ms Beaty said: “You can’t explain the feeling really when something like this happens. It’s the feeling in your heart.
“I didn’t see him until he got to Preston hospital and still didn’t let myself think anything bad. I travelled with him in the back of the ambulance to Manchester and spoke to him all the way and it was all positive.”
Jack was released from Manchester Children’s Hospital on September 12 and, after a short spell in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, he returned home for good.
He returns to Manchester in April for an operation to insert a plate into his skull.
Ms Beaty said: “Jack is amazing and the staff in Manchester said he was stoic throughout even though he would have been in a lot of pain.”
Ms Beaty thanked all those who helped Jack on the day including Chris Tomlinson, of Long Marton near Appleby, and fireman James Taylor, 41, from Essex, who were recognised with awards from the Royal Humane Society for their actions.
She also praised a good friend of the family, Sarah Martin, of Glenridding, who moved into her home and looked after her daughter Beth while she stayed by Jack’s bedside.
Ms Beaty said: “I haven’t been surprised by his recovery. I don’t take prisoners and haven’t mollycoddled him.
“He has got on and made his own cups of tea and things like that. He hasn’t sat and felt sorry for himself and has loads of visitors from little toddlers across the road to senior citizens from the village.”