Med­i­cal mir­a­cle boxer, 11, back in ring

Peo­ple: Young­ster back to health

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CLAIRE EL­LIOTT

A young boxer who has bat­tled back from a deadly brain in­fec­tion has been hailed a med­i­cal mir­a­cle.

Joe La­mont was put on full life sup­port and flown 130 miles for spe­cial­ist care af­ter his brain swelled late last year, caus­ing mul­ti­ple seizures.

Over Christ­mas, he was se­dated and his par­ents had no idea if he would wake – and whether he would have his sight, hear­ing or mem­ory if he did.

But against all odds, the school­boy – who re­cently met the air am­bu­lance crew who helped save him – as­tounded medics and his par­ents with his fight back to full health in a mat­ter of weeks.

And now ev­ery time the 11-year-old en­ters the box­ing ring, or rides his bike, his par­ents have to pinch them­selves that it is real.

Joe, of Westhill, first fell ill just a week be­fore Christ­mas, suf­fer­ing from a headache and vom­it­ing.

He was even­tu­ally di­ag­nosed with en­cephali­tis - a life-threat­en­ing con­di­tion which is more com­mon than menin­gi­tis. He was flown to Ed­in­burgh’s Royal Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren, and se­dated.

His mother, Emma, 35, said: “We just couldn’t be­lieve what was hap­pen­ing to our boy. Noth­ing can pre­pare a par­ent for see­ing their child on life sup­port. Our world had fallen apart.”

Her hus­band, Chris, 37, fol­lowed by car and grand­par­ents looked af­ter the cou­ple’s other three chil­dren, Sam, six, Franky, three, and Fern, two, dur­ing the or­deal.

Joe was taken off the ven­ti­la­tor on Christ­mas Day and man­aged to breathe on his own, but re­mained un­con­scious for another few days.

Mrs La­mont, who is a chil­dren’s nurse, said: “It was about De­cem­ber 29 when he woke up and started to com­mu­ni­cate.

“He could only say one or two words and at first he couldn’t see prop­erly. It took quite a lot of time for his vi­sion to come back to nor­mal. But ev­ery day all the things started to come back and he grad­u­ally he got his strength back.

“We were so pleased with how brave he was be­ing and how de­ter­mined he was to get back on his feet.”

And re­mark­ably, within weeks he was back at school.

He also goes to box­ing lessons twice a week and plays bad­minton at the week­ends.

Mrs La­mont added: “A lot of the time they (the doc­tors) were us­ing the words ‘mirac­u­lous re­cov­ery’. I don’t think they ex­pected him to come off scot­free. He’s been very lucky.”

SMIL­ING AGAIN: Joe La­mont and his mum Emma, who said her son was very lucky

Joe La­mont: fighter

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