Playground fall boy recovering

By Kathryn Powley

Jai Ihaka with his mum Nicky. Doctors thought Jai would not live after his accident. Photo / Doug Sherring
Jai Ihaka with his mum Nicky. Doctors thought Jai would not live after his accident. Photo / Doug Sherring

A little boy lucky to survive a freak playground accident will soon be heading home.

Jai Ihaka came crashing down off a playground platform, landing hard on the back of his head, in July.

Doctors said he wouldn't live, but he did. They said he mightn't be able to talk again, but he does. And they said he might be paralysed, but he isn't.

So his mother, Nicky Ihaka, is trusting her own instincts when it comes to Jai's future.

"I believe he is strong. I think we might have to deal with behavioural issues for a while and learning to focus, and he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life. But I can see his old personality coming through."

Jai turned 4 last month at the Wilson Home where he has been rehabilitating, after the accident in Hart Domain in Henderson, Auckland.

His left side was affected by strokes and he suffered damage to his peripheral vision.

Ihaka said his progress was amazing, though, and he would continue to have ongoing physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy.

This weekend, Jai has his first visit home since July and was likely to be home for good by the end of the month.

Ihaka held no blame for Auckland Council, and has been working with it to plan a "Play Safe in Parks" day at Tui Glen playground in February.

The council's parks manager for West Auckland, Grant Jennings, said the fun day would celebrate Jai's recovery and promote safety.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 22 Sep 2014 18:39:23 Processing Time: 612ms