A teenager caught up in an horrific Carlisle crash is recovering in hospital having had part of a leg amputated, his mother has revealed.
Alison Johnstone, of Upperby, Carlisle says her family have been inundated with messages and support from friends, relatives and strangers since her 16-year-old son Michael was seriously hurt in the crash on January 31.
“We’re completely overwhelmed by how kind people have been – friends, family and even people we don’t know,” said Mrs Johnstone.
A fundraising campaign has now been launched to raise money for Michael – the first event being a curry night at Yewdale commu
nity centre. Initial hopes are that £10,000 can be raised towards the cost of a specialist sports prosthetic.
Michael – who is known as Pickle – was one of six friends walking together near the Pirelli tyre factory on Dalston Road when they were hit by a car.
The driver of the car, 58-year-old Michael James, died.
The teenagers are all friends at Caldew School in Dalston, where five – including Michael – are sixth formers. The sixth is at Carlisle College.
Michael sustained serious leg injuries and was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, where he is now in the major trauma unit after undergoing four operations.
Doctors had to amputate his leg below the right knee three days after the crash.
Mrs Johnstone, a teaching assistant at Upperby Primary School, told the News & Star that her husband Mike has not left their son’s side since the accident, and is sleeping on a £20 camp bed beside him.
Mr Johnstone works at the Pirelli plant and was on shift when the accident happened, running out to be with his son after hearing about the crash.
“Michael has received so many cards and messages too, but his main concern has been for the James family and our thoughts are with them. It was a complete accident.”
She also revealed that Michael’s favourite football team made a special impact on Valentine’s Day.
“He’s had so many cards,” said Mrs Johnstone, “but he says he’s keeping the best one by his bed – a signed card from players at Manchester United.
“His friend Lewi brought it when he came on Tuesday.”
The card contained an invitation from the club for Michael to visit when he is well enough.
Year 12 student Michael is a keen sports fan, particularly football and mountain biking.
He used to play for Dalston Black Reds before switching to five-a-side.
Michael’s positivity following the incident has left its mark on family and friends who are travelling the A69 each day to visit him in the north east.
Family friend Jude Coupland is organising the April 1 curry night. The 150 tickets are expected to sell out quickly and a range of businesses have already donated prizes. She said: “There has been a huge outpouring from the city, people who know Pickle and his family and those who don’t.
“Michael’s friends at school, they are so close knit. They also want to get involved and I think they’re going to help serve up the food on the night. We’ve also got an experienced chef, Dave Haddock, who is going to make the food.”
A gofundme crowdfunding page is due to launch this week and other fundraising events are being planned.
All details are being posted on the “Michael Johnstone, aka Pickle, fundraising” page set up on Facebook.