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Man wakes from 12-week long coma after industrial accident to meet the newborn baby son he'd always wanted

Mirror logo Mirror 8/06/2017

A man woke up from a 12-week long coma to meet the newborn baby son that he had always wanted.

Jonny Little was just 23 years old when he suffered a serious brain injury in an accident at work involving a sheet of steel.

His fiancee Arlene had just started her maternity leave when the engineering firm worker was rushed to hospital.

He was so poorly in a coma that doctors didn't know if he would make it.

For months following his accident, Arlene kept a vigil by Jonny's bedside - spending just a week away to give birth to baby Jay-J.

When he eventually came round, he finally got to meet his son - the boy that would give Johnny the drive to learn how to walk, talk and care for himself again.

Credits: Belfast Live WS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Belfast Live WS "I needed to get back here because I knew he needed a father," Jonny, who is now 30, said.

"He was my driving force."

The accident was back in October 2010 - and BelfastLive reports that although he was striving to be the dad Jay-J needed, he also says that he could not have made the recovery he has without the support of his now wife Arlene and more recently the love of their baby daughter, Skye.

"In my eyes, my wife is a legend," he added.

"She put up with so much and brought me through the whole thing.

"We've been together 17 years - and she's been with me every step of the way."

Credits: Belfast Live WS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Belfast Live WS Months of hospital trips, a new baby and helping her husband to relearn things lost through his trauma are just some of the things Arlene has done, he said.

But she also helps him through the fluctuating moods, forgetfulness and extreme tiredness that come with a brain injury.

"She doesn't deserve it," he added.

But he said his 29-year-old wife and Jay-J, now six, gave him the drive to carry on.

Credits: Belfast Live WS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Belfast Live WS So much so, that with the help of three hospitals, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and the Cedar Foundation, Jonny was back at work before she was.

"I just pushed and I pushed and I was back to work by March 6," he continued.

"The Cedar Foundation came in contact with me in January (2011) and I met with them every week to talk about my problems."

Jonny said through those meetings he was able to talk through issues and learn coping strategies for problems such as memory loss.

And so with a plan in place he transitioned back to work, working two hours, three days a week to start.

"I pushed myself so hard," Johnny explained. "For me it was about providing for my family."

A family that welcomed its newest member - baby Skye - just six months ago.

Now Jonny is working full-time again as a goods operator at the same Tyrone engineering firm he worked at before - and "is still learning" and "achieving every day".

"I hope if there are others in my circumstances that they don't give up," Jonny added. "I'm proof you can achieve when you believe."

Cedar's Inclusion Works service helps people with brain injuries to improve employability skills and social inclusion, enter employment or voluntary work and achieve qualifications.

It is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and Department for the Economy.

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