Teenager, 18, who was declared brain dead after being hit by a van wakes up


Teenager, 18, who was declared brain dead after being hit by a van wakes up and blinks just as his parents were poised to turn off his life support and donate his organs

  • Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, struck by a van in the town, March 13
  • The 18-year-old suffered catastrophic head injuries and was ‘certified dead’ 
  • His family agreed to donate Lewis’s organs to help lives of seven other people
  • Just hours before this surgery the teenager began to breathe again on his own

An 18-year-old who was ‘certified dead’ after being hit by a van was just hours away from having his organs removed for donation when he started blinking and breathing by himself again.

Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, was struck by a van in his hometown on Saturday March 13, suffering catastrophic head injuries.

He was flown by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital where his family were told four days later that Lewis had lost his fight for life and to say their final goodbyes.

The family agreed to donate Lewis’s organs to help the lives of seven other people, but just hours before this surgery the teenager began to breathe again on his own.    

Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, (pictured) was struck by a van in his hometown on Saturday March 13, suffering catastrophic head injuries

Lewis Roberts, from Leek, Staffordshire, (pictured) was struck by a van in his hometown on Saturday March 13, suffering catastrophic head injuries

More than £1,000 has already been raised for Lewis through an online fundraiser titled ‘A Pint for Lewis’. 

Appeal organiser Chloe Roberts said: ‘On March 13, Lewis suffered catastrophic head injuries when he was struck by a van in his hometown of Leek and was flown to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

‘Four days later, the doctors broke the news to our family that nothing more could be done as he had unfortunately suffered a ‘brain stem death’ and sadly passed away.

‘After saying our goodbyes to Lewis, close family bravely agreed for his organs to be donated to help the lives of seven other people.

He was flown by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital where his family were told four days later that Lewis had lost his fight for life

He was flown by air ambulance to Royal Stoke University Hospital where his family were told four days later that Lewis had lost his fight for life

‘This bought Lewis extra time before his life support machine was turned off. Just hours before Lewis’ surgery, he began to breathe again on his own. A miracle any family could wish for after being told he had zero chance of pulling through.

‘After this Lewis has carried on progressing. He has started to react to pain tests, moving his limbs on his own, and also moving his head from side to side, blinking and also moving his mouth. Every day, this boy is getting stronger.

‘Many people have asked to send money for a pint for Lewis. Any money that is sent will be for Lewis when he is home and back on his feet. We would just like to say, as a family, thank you so much and we are very grateful for everyone’s prayers and best wishes for Lewis.’

The family appealed to family and friends for prayers after he was 'officially certified dead'

The family appealed to family and friends for prayers after he was ‘officially certified dead’

Lewis, a former Leek High School pupil, from Blackshaw Moor, was knocked over on Broad Street, in Leek, near its junction with Hartington Street.

Following the launch of the fundraising appeal, sister Jade Roberts, aged 28, said: ‘Thank you so, so much to every single one of you who has donated. Lewis will be chuffed to bits. We cannot wait for him to wake up and see it.’

Staffordshire Police are continuing to investigate the collision.

Anyone with any information should call the police on 101, quoting incident number 413 of March 13. 

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