Teen hit by VIP car 'recovering miraculously'
Johannesburg - Thomas Ferreira, the matric pupil who was critically injured after being knocked down by a blue-light vehicle in November, was making a miraculous recovery, according to reports on Monday.
A week ago Ferreira, who doctors at the time thought would suffer permanent brain damage, spoke for the first time and said "Hello", The Times reported.
The 18-year-old, who was in a coma until two weeks ago, was injured while riding a motorcycle in Krugersdorp on the first weekend of November.
He was struck by a car carrying housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi when its blue light was turned on to cross a red traffic light.
Police confirmed on November 9 that a case of reckless or negligent driving had been opened against the driver, Semitsi Modomai.
At that time Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane publicly promised to cover the costs of the teenager's medical bills.
The Times reported that until just over a week ago, the Hoërskool Bastion pupil, who was unable to sit for his matric exams because of the accident, could only stomach mashed potato.
But he reportedly ate two boerewors rolls and drank a glass of fruit juice during a family picnic in the garden area of the Riverfield Lodge rehabilitation unit in Randburg, northern Johannesburg, where he has been since December 30.
"A couple of days ago he wouldn't even show emotion at all," said his father, Peter.
"It's going to be a very long road still. Doctors say it's still early to tell [whether he will make a full recovery]. But we're looking at him returning home at the end of March."
Putting on weight
During the picnic Thomas's mother, Priscilla, reportedly helped her son stand up and take a few steps to his wheelchair.
"He's even developing a good appetite. He weighed 70kg before the accident, and fell to 49kg when he entered rehab. But he's steadily put on weight," she said.
Last week, department spokesperson Mongezi Mnyani told the newspaper he had "a fruitful discussion" with the family two weeks ago and that he would go back to them this week, The Times reported.
"We are now finalising some of the suggestions made at the meeting to ensure Thomas's recovery is realised.
"At this stage I am not at liberty to provide all the details of what was discussed. But I can confirm that we're looking at all possible solutions and options at our disposal," Mnyani said.