After her five-year-old son Marli experienced a severe bike accident that left him in a coma for nine days, Nikki Barnes, a 28-year-old mother, is advocating for parents to include helmets with any bikes given as Christmas presents. Marli suffered two skull fractures and a broken shoulder in the accident near their home in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire.
The incident occurred when Marli rode a friend’s old, brakeless bike down a steep hill, ultimately crashing into a garden wall and then a house. Nikki discovered her son unconscious and received CPR from neighbors, and an air ambulance soon arrived to transport him to the hospital. Doctors warned Nikki and Marli’s father, Dean Collinson, 32, to prepare for the worst, as they were uncertain if Marli would emerge from his medically induced coma, told Manchester Evening News.
Miraculously, Marli regained consciousness after a week, but concerns remain about his long-term development. Nikki is now emphasizing the importance of helmets, stating that while they may not be seen as ‘cool,’ they can save lives. She shared her traumatic experience of seeing her son receive CPR and the fear that it could have been his last Christmas.
On September 3, shortly before the accident, Nikki had asked Marli to stay near their home while she prepared dinner. However, he chose to ride his friend’s bike down a nearby steep hill at high speed. The aftermath was devastating, with Marli requiring immediate medical attention and experiencing multiple seizures.
At Leeds General Infirmary, Marli was diagnosed with significant skull fractures and a broken shoulder. He spent eight days in intensive care under heavy sedation before finally waking up. His first words upon regaining consciousness were calling for his mother, a moment that brought tears to everyone present. Remarkably, he recovered quickly, walking again just two days after waking up.
Nikki has since planned a special trip to Egypt for Marli, a plane enthusiast, as a way to celebrate his recovery and fulfill one of his dreams. Additionally, Marli and Nikki are fundraising to provide helmets to local children for Christmas, hoping to prevent similar accidents.