LITTLE Liam McCallum, the Bushmills schoolboy knocked down and almost killed by a car outside his house 20 months ago, continues to make remarkable progress from his horrific injuries.
So much so that this week Liam and mum Natasha will fly to London to take up a place at Tadworth Hospital outside London, one of the leading centres for treating brain injuries in Britain.
The visit is being facilitated by the Children's Trust charity and it is anticipated that Liam will spend up to six months in Surrey, benefiting from the very best medical attention.
It's a far cry from the dark day back in January 2017 when Liam suffered extensive brain injuries after being hit by a car near his home.
There were fears that Liam may not survive, given the extent of his injuries, but he continues to defy medical opinion, earning him his place at Tadworth Court.
“Not many people get a chance like this but Liam has earned it himself,” explained dad Ali.
“We see the fight in him every day but I think he shocked a few people when they came over from Tadworth to look at Liam.
“Liam knew everything that was going on and he knew what he had to do.
“He kicked a football last week and said my name which gave me goosebumps so he's doing really well.”
Natasha plans to stay with Liam throughout his time in England with Ali flying back and forward when time and work permits.
“It's such a chance that we have to take it,” continued Ali.
“We don't know how long Liam will be there for but it would be great to get home from Christmas, even if it was just for a flying visit.
“He's making great strides but he'll undergo intense physio and communication skills when he's there which can only help.
“His mum hasn't left his side since the accident – she has been brilliant, as has everyone in the local community. We can't thank people enough for their kindness and support.”
A pupil at Sandelford School in Coleraine, Liam's progress has given everyone a lift.
“Liam's been there a year and I can't believe the difference in him, nor can I thank staff there enough,” added Ali.
“It's lifted the whole family: at the start they were talking about turning his life support machine off and about donating his organs and now this – but it's all down to Liam.
“He knows everything that's going on and I believe we'll get him on his feet again and talking again. I'm sure we'll get there.”