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Hit and run child wakes

Thornton Heath hit and run victim Stephen Tobin, seriously injured in the accident a month ago, has regained consciousness despite suffering terrible head injuries.

Against all the odds, the nine-year-old has been making a slow recovery in the last week at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and has been moved out of the intensive care unit.

Doctors treating Stephen did not expect the youngster to survive his fractured skull after the hit and run smash in Biggin Hill, Upper Norwood, on March 2.

Fearing the worst, his Catholic family remained at his side as a priest gave Stephen last rites and his schoolfriends sent recorded tapes to the hospital in the hope it would bring him out of his coma.

But although the gradual recovery is giving Stephen's family hope, it is tinged with the sad realisation that he may be severely brain damaged.

Stephen's mother Linda, from Hawthorn Avenue, has been keeping a constant vigil at her son's bedside since the accident. She told the Guardian: "Even though he is starting to come round, it is obvious his brain is damaged.

"I try to give him food but it just dribbles out of his mouth and he tries to talk but nothing comes out. But we are grateful that he is able to leave intensive care now. It is just a matter of waiting to see what happens."

The BBC television programme Crimewatch is due to start filming a reconstruction of the accident in a bid to catch the mystery driver of the dark blue saloon car which knocked Stephen over, believed to be either a Renault Laguna or Megane with an R or V prefix.

The item should be screened later this month.

Linda, 41, renewed her appeal for the driver to turn themselves in saying: "Someone must know who this person is. Search your soul and go to the police, it is the only right thing to do."

Contact the Catford Traffic Garage on 020 8284 5925.

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