Staffordshire teenager, 18, who was declared brain dead after being hit by a van wakes up
An 18-year-old who was declared brain dead after being hit by a van blinked just hours before his organs were due to be removed for donation.
Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, was struck by the vehicle in his hometown on March 13 and suffered catastrophic head injuries.
He was flown by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital where his family were told four days later he had lost his fight for life and to say their final goodbyes.
They agreed to donate Lewis’s organs to help seven other people, but just hours before the surgery the teenager began to breathe again on his own.
His sister Jade Roberts, 28, posted an extraordinary video with her brother from his hospital bedside on March 18.
She was recording the machine monitoring his breathing and said: ‘Are you ready Lew, one, two, three breathe.’
The device then showed a brown line and she cried out in surprise, adding: ‘Have a break, clever boy.’ Someone added through tears: ‘He’s just twitched.’
Later in the clip – after a few unsuccessful attempts to get him to breathe on his own – Jade said: ‘One, two, three, and a big breath.’
The machine again turned brown and his sister said: ‘I’m telling you Lew, you’re amazing, you are amazing.’
In an update two days ago, Jade said on March 26 he had managed a full day without using a ventilator.
But she said on March 28 he had to use it again due to what ‘could be a chest infection which is been looked into’.
Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, was struck by a van in his hometown on March 13 and suffered catastrophic head injuries. He is pictured receiving a military award
He was flown by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital where his family were told four days later he had lost his fight for life and to say their final goodbyes. Pictured: Lewis and his sister Jade
His sister Jade Roberts, 28, posted an extraordinary video with her brother from his hospital bedside on March 18 as the machine changed when she begged him to breathe
Jade added in a Facebook post last week: ‘After taking out numerous tests the hospital told us Lewis had given up the fight, no response and had suffered brain stem death.
‘We signed forms you wouldn’t even believe and conversations you’d never believe.. we were intended to say our final goodbyes.
‘Lewis was officially certified as dead last week And his death was even reported to the coroner.
‘I headed up at midnight. I held Lewis’ hand and asked him to breath after one two three.
‘We were waiting for a brown line to show for many days, to show he had taken a breath for himself but we had nothing.
‘When I said breath the brown line showed and he took a breath… We were told no it must be an error, impossible.
‘And they are sorry and they understand its such a difficult time for the family. We agreed no Lewis can hear us.
Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, (pictured) was struck by a van in his hometown on Saturday March 13, suffering catastrophic head injuries
‘I got back home to a phone call… ”Lewis is breathing now”. His eyes are dilating which before we had nothing. Zero.
‘And to be told he was brain dead and suffered brain stem death and was literally certified as dead.
‘The hospital family can not even believe the miracle they said they’ve never ever witnessed this and Lewis is the second person in the whole wide world to do this.
‘Mega mega mixed emotions.. Just absolutely unbelievable. Please keep praying we are obviously so so over whelmed after hearing we lost our boy.’
Lewis completed selection for the British Army at an assessment centre in December 2019 and proudly posted a picture of his certificate on Facebook.
Another image shows he was set to be part of the regular soldier intake at Army Training Regiment Winchester in Hampshire from February 2, 2020.
More than £2,000 has already been raised for Lewis through an online fundraiser titled ‘A Pint for Lewis’, which was set up yesterday.
Organiser Chloe Roberts said: ‘On March 13, Lewis suffered catastrophic head injuries when he was struck by a van in his hometown of Leek and was flown to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
‘Four days later, the doctors broke the news to our family that nothing more could be done as he had unfortunately suffered a ”brain stem death” and sadly passed away.
‘After saying our goodbyes to Lewis, close family bravely agreed for his organs to be donated to help the lives of seven other people.
‘This bought Lewis extra time before his life support machine was turned off. Just hours before Lewis’ surgery, he began to breathe again on his own.
He was flown by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital where his family were told four days later that Lewis had lost his fight for life
‘A miracle any family could wish for after being told he had zero chance of pulling through.
‘After this Lewis has carried on progressing. He has started to react to pain tests, moving his limbs on his own, and also moving his head from side to side, blinking and also moving his mouth. Every day, this boy is getting stronger.
‘Many people have asked to send money for a pint for Lewis. Any money that is sent will be for Lewis when he is home and back on his feet.
‘We would just like to say, as a family, thank you so much and we are very grateful for everyone’s prayers and best wishes for Lewis.’
Lewis, a former Leek High School pupil, from Blackshaw Moor, was knocked over on Broad Street, in Leek, near its junction with Hartington Street.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: ‘Inquiries are still ongoing with regards to establishing the circumstances around the collision and witnesses are still being spoken to.
‘There won’t be any further update until these inquiries are completed.’
Anyone with any information should call the police on 101, quoting incident number 413 of March 13.
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