THE family of a Cork toddler who was badly injured in a hit-and-run last month have spoken of their delight at his miracle recovery after he began sitting up, smiling and laughing again.
Zac Higgins, who turns three this summer, was left in an induced coma after being struck by a vehicle that failed to stop outside his home on Skehard Road in Cork city back on March 25.
The youngster suffered a bleed on his brain, a broken shoulder blade and a broken collarbone in the horrific smash and has been recovering at Temple Street Hospital, Dublin ever since.
His mother Aishling Sexton, who previously said it was a "miracle" her son was still alive, has now shared a heartening update on his ongoing recovery.
Although Zac cannot speak or walk and still has a feeding tube, he is now able to sit up and can be seen smiling and laughing with his loved-ones in a new picture shared by RedFM's The Neil Prendeville Show on Twitter.
ZAC HIGGINS UPDATE - mom Aishling Sexton says the 2 year old is now sitting up. Zac can’t speak or walk and still has a feeding tube but is smiling & laughing. The family are blown away by the support they have received. On May 12th @CorkCityFC will play @RingmahonRanger pic.twitter.com/jQxonX8Xul
— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) 25 April 2019
Speaking on the show today, Aishling also revealed the family have been "blown away" by the support they've received in the wake of the callous hit-and-run.
Hundreds of people have donated to a GoFundMe page set up to help cover the costs of Zac's ongoing treatment and recovery, with over €42,000 raised so far.
A message on the page says: "Zac Higgins is a 2 years and 8 month year old bubbly toddler like any child his age, loves football and loves playing with his family and friends.
"Zac was full of the joys of life up until Monday 25th March 2019. He was playing football in his front garden and the ball went out onto the road outside his house which is a Cul De Sac.
"Zac followed the ball like any toddler would do but was struck by a car and has since suffered severe injuries. The car failed to stop.
"To the shock of family and neighbours and the community Zac was treated by emergency services and rushed to the Hospital in Cork City."
"Later on that evening Zac was put into an induced coma and transferred up to the Temple Street Children's Hospital and rushed to intensive care."
"Zac's progress has been constantly monitored and his treatment is currently ongoing."
Cork City FC will play Ringmahon Rangers in a charity match on May 12 to continue raising funds for little Zac.
If you would like to donate to his GoFundMe page, click here