Plucky Rawiri bounces back

By Kiri Gillespie

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Corine Te Whata said she prepared herself for the worst when she found her son Rawiri Te Whata, 7, lying in a pool of blood outside her home after being hit by a car nine days ago. Photo/George Novak
Corine Te Whata said she prepared herself for the worst when she found her son Rawiri Te Whata, 7, lying in a pool of blood outside her home after being hit by a car nine days ago. Photo/George Novak

The day after Welcome Bay boy Rawiri Te Whata woke from a coma in Auckland's Starship Hospital he was helping another boy hit by a car out of an induced sleep.

The plucky seven-year-old was rushed to the hospital after he was hit by a car outside his home nine days ago. By Wednesday he had woken from the coma.

Mother Corine Te Whata said while at Starship the family learned of the boy hit by a reversing car and put into an induced coma.

When Ms Te Whata woke on Thursday, she found Rawiri at the other boy's bedside.

"My son was there holding his hand saying 'kia kaha my bro. I got hit by a car and I'm alright. You'll be alright too'."

Ms Te Whata said the boy eventually woke and visited Rawiri the next day.

"He said 'I heard you talking to me, making me feel better'. That was really cool."

From their Meander Drive home yesterday, Ms Te Whata said she had prepared herself for the worst when she saw Rawiri lying in a pool of blood on the road outside.

Witnesses said he flew the length of four cars before landing on the road, skidding some distance.

"I'd already lost a 10-month-old son in 2010, so this whole traumatic thing was another memory of it," she said.

"I was very upset."

Ms Te Whata said she began lashing out at the driver.

"My son was on the road with blood all around him. But he said 'it's okay mum, just give me a towel. I'm just bleeding. It will be okay'.

"Here he was in and out of consciousness and he could still finish his sentence. It kind of snapped me out of my own fierceness."

Ms Te Whata said life was a world away from a week ago but it was hard seeing Rawiri struggling to sleep.

She said the family were grateful for the support they have received.

"Everyone around here, all their prayers and presents they have given to my son just made him stronger and recover even faster. He said to me everyday is like a birthday with all the presents he's been getting."

Doctors said Rawiri had not suffered any brain damage, just brain bruising, and would need to take it easy over the next few days.

He also suffered a bruised kidney and grazing on his torso and legs

Rawiri's nan Miria Te Whata said they were overjoyed at his recovery but said he was not the same boy who used to act so bulletproof.

"He used to be so fearless. Now he won't go near the road. Before you wouldn't get a word in without him talking over you. Now he sits and listens," she said. "

Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said police were still investigating the crash and no charges had been laid.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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