Seven As for ski accident boy given 1% chance of full recovery

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A teenager who was given a 1% chance of full recovery after a skiing accident has achieved seven As in his exams.

Ross Nesbitt, 16, was training with Glasgow ski racing team in Austria in December 2016 when he crashed and hit his head on a fence post, leaving him in a coma.

He spent a month in hospital in Innsbruck and a further six-and-a-half weeks in Scottish hospitals.

He had to learn how to walk, talk and eat again.

Ross returned to Williamwood High School in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, in May last year and is now celebrating seven As and a B in his National 5 exams.

He said: "I was pretty pleased, I was really not expecting that, but happy to get the results."

His mother Wilma said: "I was working when he got his text but I believe he jumped out of his skin and was so pleased. We're just absolutely ecstatic with his results.

"It was really touch and go at times, we didn't know whether we were going to get our boy back but it didn't take very long before there were signs that Ross was improving.

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Image caption,
Ross Nesbitt said he was not expecting his seven A grades

"The first thing was switching on his mobile phone and putting his code in, and we knew he was still with us, but he had quite a long time recovering.

"He had to learn to swallow, how to walk and talk again. He had lost 18kgs (2.8 stone) in weight over the initial period and had a tube in his stomach to feed him, so it's remarkable with the help of all the team at the Children's Hospital in Glasgow that we walked out of there."

Ross initially returned to school for a couple of days a week and also had extra tutoring with teachers to help him catch up.

'I'm still skiing'

Speaking about the accident and his recovery, he said: "I was heading down to the lift and decided to take a shortcut off the track of the slope and hit a lot of snow and flew forward and banged my head on a fence post.

"I had to relearn how to walk and talk and do basic things again.

"I knew when I went back to school they weren't going to make me do the S3 exams, so I didn't have that pressure on me. The school were really helpful."

Ross will return to Williamwood next week for fifth year.

"I've not really thought much about what I want to do," he said.

"I was going to wait to get the results to have a think about it but I'm still skiing, the accident was never going to put me off."

His mother added: "It's what he wants to do. It's what drives him and he loves skiing.

"He's had a few races recently and been on the podium, maybe not first but he's nipping at their heels."