Brentwood: Shenfield student who overcame coma will be in Paralympic Torch Relay

�A Shenfield student who was told he would never walk again after a terrible accident left him in a coma, has been chosen to carry the torch in the Paralympic relay this summer.

Alby Dobinson was hit by a car on his way home from school four and a half years ago. The crash left him with a brain injury, and his parents were told he had little chance of a full recovery.

But Alby regained consciousness and, determined to prove the doctors wrong, started to walk again with the aid of intense physiotherapy sessions.

The accident happened on December 17, 2007, while he was crossing the A12 near his home, in Harold Wood, Havering.

After initially being taken to Queen’s Hospital, Alby was transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for four weeks of intensive care. He then went to King George Hospital, Goodmayes, before being transferred to a rehabilitation centre at the Children’s Trust, in Surrey.

When he first arrived there he was in a ‘walking coma’, meaning he was not aware of his surroundings.

Alby’s stepfather, Mark Walsh, said: “They said the most we could expect was that he would be able to sit up unaided. But he has surpassed all the professionals’ expectations.”

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Mark added that after 14 months of intense therapy “he walked out of there laughing and smiling; he went back to school and picked up where he left.”

Now 17, he is completing a BTEC in health and social care at Shenfield High School, Alexander Lane, and hopes to eventually work with animals.

Alby’s selection for the torch relay in August means a challenge for the teenager who, although he can now walk unaided, uses a wheelchair for long distances. He is currently building up his stamina and walking in his local park in preparation for his 800m stretch of the relay.

He said: “I am very happy and very excited about carrying the torch. I feel honoured to have been selected.”

Mark added: “We are just absolutely proud of him. He is such a determined guy and is always looking to move forward. He has a lot of positive thinking and continues to improve every day.”