One year ago, New Zealand teenager Ishaan Prasaad was in the hospital after being hit by a train as he rode his bicycle to his school just down the road. Today, he’s a walking “miracle.”
The now-17-year-old Prasaad has been on a long recovery journey, but his mother, Irene, told Hawke’s Bay Today he is making unbelievable strides toward healing. She told the outlet it is “a miracle he is standing on his feet and walking.”
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Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the accident, when Prasaad was rushed to the emergency room after he collided with the train. He hit the fast-moving locomotive with his head, shattering a light on the side of the train. Thankfully, he was wearing a helmet — which his mom credited with saving his life.
“His injuries were very bad,” she recalled. “He was badly injured right through from his head to his feet.”
This week, the teenager, a student at Napier Boys’ High School, was part of Rail Safety Week in Wellington, where he was given the incredible opportunity to meet one of the men who was driving the train at the time the horrific crash took place.
His mom described the encounter between her son and Jamie Kauika — who was in the cabin with fellow driver Wayne Kempton — as “very emotional,” explaining, “It was emotional to meet him and hear him talk about what happened on that day and how he felt.”
“In that sense,” she said, “I just feel Ishaan was very lucky, and it is a miracle he is standing on his feet and walking and passing on this message of rail safety.”
Both Irene and her son are encouraging people to slow down, look carefully, and wear helmets.
As for the train driver, Kauika said it was “good closure” for him because, at the time of the crash, he “did not really know what the outcome was going to be for Ishaan.”
“I didn’t go to hospital … and I had just seen him on the side of the road and it did not look very good at all,” the driver recalled. “So I’m very happy for his family and for himself that he is actually here.”
The harrowing scene, he continued, unfolded very quickly. All he remembered, he said, was seeing Kempton pull the emergency brake, knowing there was too little time for them to do anything else.
Irene said she is incredibly grateful to the community for raising so much money — nearly $30,000 in the days after the crash — and showing their support for her child.
“Where Ishaan is now is because of all the love and support from community members,” she said.
Praise God for Ishaan’s remarkable recovery from such a scary crash.
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