A 10-year-old Australian boy who was critically injured two weeks ago when two helicopters collided,, had woken from a coma in a hospital and held his father’s hand, a family priest said.
Nicholas Tadros remained in the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane where medical staff described his condition on Monday as “critical but stable.”
His mother, Vanessa Tadros, 36, was killed when two Sea World theme park helicopters collided during joy flights on Jan. 2 at the tourist city of Gold Coast, 50 miles south of Brisbane.
She was buried on Monday after a funeral near the family home in western Sydney. According to The Guardian, her husband Simon gave an emotional eulogy.
“Vanessa was a special person. Her smile was infectious … she had a pure heart … everyday we grew strong together. She was our protector,” he said, according to the outlet.
One of the priests who conducted the funeral, Father Suresh Kumar, posted on social media on Monday that the son has “been off life support now for a few days and his body has responded very well.”
“They have lowered his sedation medicine at times to see if he is responsive and he has woken up and (been) able to respond to some questions with a nod or a shake of the head,” Kumar posted.
“He is also able to hold his Dad’s hand,” Kumar added, referring to Nicholas’s father, Simon Tadros, who is credited as the source of the information in the statement.
Nicholas remained on a ventilator to support his breathing and was scheduled for more surgeries, the priest said.
“Thank you to everybody that has shown support, love and the continuous prayers for Nicky, God is listening to our prayers,” Kumar wrote. “Please continue to pray for Nicholas, he has a long hard road ahead of him.”
Along with Nicholas’s mother, British couple Ron and Diane Hughes and pilot Ashley Jenkinson were also killed in the collision that is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
The other victims who remain in the hospital are a 33-year-old mother and her 9-year-old son. The conditions of both are listed as stable.
Footage of the crash showed a helicopter shortly after takeoff being clipped by another helicopter flying over the water.
Sea World Helicopters, a separate company from the theme park, expressed its condolences and said it was cooperating with the authorities handling the crash investigation.
“We and the entire flying community are devastated by what has happened and our sincere condolences go to all those involved and especially the loved ones and family of the deceased,” the statement said.