Mitchell’s a little fighter

awardsram'Mitchell Mason was knocked down by a car earlier in the year and has had to learn to walk and talk again. He has been invited down to Sheffield United's training ground in Shirecliffe where he got the chance to meet the players. Pictured with his mum, Leasa Ward
awardsram'Mitchell Mason was knocked down by a car earlier in the year and has had to learn to walk and talk again. He has been invited down to Sheffield United's training ground in Shirecliffe where he got the chance to meet the players. Pictured with his mum, Leasa Ward
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Youngster up for award after ‘astonishing’ recovery from road accident

BRAVE Mitchell Mason is getting ready to shine at Sheffield’s Night of Honour - after being shortlisted for an award for his ‘astonishing’ recovery from terrible injuries suffered in a road accident.

Mitchell, now 10, sustained severe head injuries after being knocked down on Harborough Avenue, close to his home on the Manor estate.

He had to have part of his skull removed and a titanium plate fitted, and even had to learn to walk and talk again.

But he was well enough to go home from Sheffield Children’s Hospital after three months.

Mitchell, whose name was put forward by staff at the hospital, has been shortlisted for the Champion Child award.

In total, there are 253 nominees for eight different categories at the awards ceremony at Sheffield City Hall on Wednesday.

City champions will be chosen for the titles of Braveheart, Queen or King of Customer Care, Best Secret Angel, Best Investor in Children, Best Carer, Champion Child, Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Community Organisation.

Mitchell’s mum, Leasa Ward, aged 37, said: “We’re all so proud of Mitchell and so happy about the nomination.

“Mitchell is making more and more progress every day and is doing so much more than I ever thought he would. He is very independent and mobile, although a return to school is some way off.

“He is walking again despite having some problems affecting his right side and eyesight.

“He’s a little fighter and is not letting anything stop him.”

Leah Lockhart, staff nurse at Sheffield Children’s Hospital who nominated Mitchell, said: “Mitchell deserves this award because he has been so brave and amazing throughout his recovery.”

Meanwhile, a fundraiser for hospital charities has been nominated for the Braveheart Award by friend Heather Beatson.

Samira Furniss, 34, of Swallownest, needed almost two years of surgery and intensive recovery after two potentially fatal brain aneurysms.

Since regaining her speech and mobility, she has started fundraising for Neurocare as a way of showing her appreciation.

Samira said: “This has been the hardest thing I have ever been through. I have been reflecting a lot about what’s happened as Christmas and the end of the year approaches.

“Last Christmas I couldn’t sit up, hold my daughter Ella Rose or decorate our tree.

“It’s been a whirlwind, but this Christmas will be so different.

“Neurocare has been brilliant and just six months into my recovery I was adamant I would do some fundraising for the charities to say thank you. It was really important to me that the money went to the surgical team at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s neurosciences ward.”

Samira’s biggest fundraising event for Neurocare and Headway was the Live for Today Ball at the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn in Sheffield earlier this month.

The event and other fundraising raised £13,500 for Neurocare and Headway, another charity which helps people with brain injuries.

Other entrants include a bus driver described as a ‘legend’ by passengers for giving them a warm welcome.

Ken Hargreaves, 64, of Gleadless, has been a driver with Stagecoach for nine years and works on the 25 Bradway to Woodhouse route.

He has been nominated for the title of King of Customer Service for his “happy face and cheerful disposition”.

Ken said: “It is lovely to get recognition like this although I consider a friendly greeting and a smile all part of the job.”