A SCHOOLBOY left in a coma for five months after being knocked down by a car has fought back to become an inspirational classmate.
Callum Powell, 11, refuses to let injuries caused by the accident affect his zest for life and has been dubbed a “ray of sunshine” by staff at Portland College.
In recognition of his determination, teachers at the specialist school have nominated the Easington Lane youngster for a Young Achievers’ Award.
Rebecca Cummins, from the school in Chapelgarth, said: “Callum is the bravest boy we know. Despite his physical disabilities he is extremely determined and refuses to allow his impairment to affect his life.
“Within Portland, Callum is a ray of sunshine. He is eager to learn and enjoys socialising with his peers.”
Callum was not expected to survive after being struck by a car in February 2007 while out walking with a friend near the Three Tuns Pub, Easington Lane.
The youngster, who suffered severe head injuries in the accident, spent five months in a coma and has since had to undergo a lengthy procedure of operations and physiotherapy.
Week after week, his devastated family prayed by his bedside for any sign of life and their prayers were answered when he opened his eyes to begin his road to recovery.
Mum Margaret White, 47, said: “I am so proud of Callum. The accident meant it was like having a baby again but he is learning new things each day.
“He was wheelchair-bound for two years after the accident but he is back on his feet now. It also left him with no movement on his left side but he has been building up his right side and has even started judo at school. I wouldn’t have him any other way, he is a real character.”
Ms Cummins added: “Throughout, Callum has remain positive and focused. His determination and courage is inspirational to everyone around him.
“He always shows a great deal of concern for others and makes every effort to cheer up his friends when they are sad or unwell. Callum will try everything to the best of his physical ability and is an asset to Portland College.”
Callum’s is one of many entries in this year’s Young Achievers’ Awards.
Launched in 1992, they highlight and celebrate the achievements of young people in Sunderland.
Organised by Sunderland City Council Youth Development Group, the awards pay tribute to young people who make a significant contribution to family, school and community life.
Winners will be recognised at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light on March 10.