The mother of a boy left fighting for life after he was hit by a drunk-driver has released these shocking photographs to show his suffering
Kiernan Roberts, 16, wanted to grow up and be a political journalist and become the ‘next Jeremy Paxman’.
But he was knocked down by Owen Finn, 64, who left him lying in the road with a broken neck and head injuries after drinking wine, spirits and cocktails.
His mother Marie, 53, has now spoken out after Finn was sentenced to three years imprisonment to show him “what he has taken from Kiernan”.
Marie’s photos show her courageous son, who had ambitions to become a political journalist and saw himself as the next Jeremy Paxman, fighting for his life in hospital after the horrific hit-and-run crash.
Kiernan can be seen smiling in one photo, despite the harrowing ordeal of surgery to remove part of his skull.
Mrs Roberts said: “As a family we discussed releasing the images of Kiernan after the crash, and at first decided not to because once they are released you can’t get them back.
“He has also suffered massive distress due to his head disfigurement and we did not want to add to that.
“But we want Finn to see what he has taken from Kiernan. We want him to see for himself what Kiernan has lost.
“We partly want Finn to see what he has done and not simply think he can dismiss it as a simple ‘bad thing’, as described by his defending barrister in court.
“We spoke to Kiernan who has chosen the images along with us.”
Kiernan’s neck broke as he landed on Finn’s car windscreen after being catapulted into the air and he suffered a massive brain injury.
Despite his remarkable progress, his parents have been told it is likely he will never fully recover and be the person he was.
Kiernan, from Elloughton, East Yorks., was given just a 20 to 40 per cent chance of survival after the horrific crash.
Surgeons at Hull Royal Infirmary conducted an immediate life-saving operation to remove the left side of his skull so his brain could swell, and he was put into an induced coma.
When Kiernan came round, he was distressed and suffering with post traumatic amnesia and didn’t recognise his own family.
It was around six weeks before Kiernan began to recognise his family, and he was still unable to make new memories.
In December, Kiernan underwent a second emergency operation to remove a build-up of fluid on the brain and was left with a misshapen head where his skull was removed.
A shunt was implanted in his brain and the excess fluid was transported to his stomach, which will remain for the rest of his life.
He suffered psychological distress because of his disfigurement and also had severe headaches, as well as the complete loss of use on his right-side upper limb and significantly reduced mobility in his right lower limb.
Kiernan lost three and a half stone and, by March, underwent a third operation to replace the missing skull with a large titanium plate to help correct its shape.
Although a success, Kiernan suffered massive seizures and was placed in an induced coma for the second time in five months.
In the past eight weeks, Kiernan has been learning to stand and walk again with machines for aid, and is learning to talk and regain his thinking and cognitive skills.
Mrs Roberts said: “His steadfast determination to achieve as much of his old life back as possible should help with the difficult months and years ahead.
“We have been made aware of the risks of depression and mood swings as the reality of his new life takes hold and his sense of identity is re-formed.”
Mrs Roberts is full of praise for Hull Royal’s A&E, ICU, Ward 40 and Ward 4, along with police, key witnesses and strangers, John and Sue Marshall, who found Kiernan shortly after.
She added: “Hull Royal has an excellent trauma team who have saved Kiernan’s life more than once.
“Ward 29 has a wonderful rehab team who have helped him to start rebuilding his life.
“He still has a long way to go and he may never quite be the same but we do have hope.
Marie said that Kiernan has no recollection of the crash, but feels strongly about not worrying about Finn and wants to solely concentrate on recovering.