AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager who defied medical expectations after battling for life following a serious road accident has won a major national award.
Fred Longworth High School student Jack Griffin was knocked down by a car on Astley Street and suffered severe head injuries four years ago, when he was in Year Seven.
Jack, from Tyldesley, had brain surgery and had to have a piece of his skull removed at the start of his fight.
He was in hospital for nine months and missed more than a year’s schooling while multiple bleeds in his brain impaired his movements and left him in a wheelchair.
Despite being told by doctors that further improvements would be limited, Jack, now 16, not only walked again but went back to school and sat GCSE exams with his peers.
He gained a Maths GCSE last year and is expected to get further good results when he sits more GCSE exams this summer.
And the Year 11 student travelled to the House of Commons to receive the Kids Count award for the most inspirational young person of 2012.
He was presented with the award by Tony Hadley, front man of 1980s band Spandau Ballet, after being nominated by Fred Longworth head teacher Jan Garretts.
She said: “I nominated Jack for this award because he truly is one of the most inspirational people I have ever worked with.
“He has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to succeed and always has a smile on his face.
“He has a relentlessly positive approach to life and fully deserves this award.”
Jack’s progress also won him the Wigan Achiever of the Year award, presented by the Sue Johnson Memorial Trust, and he gave a speech to the rest of the year group explaining his determination to battle through his difficulties.
Jack, who is also assistant head boy and a librarian at Fred Longworth, explained his determination to do well is inspired by the example of his great-grandfather, who lost a leg in the Second World War.
He said: “He was also called Jack, and he walked with a wooden leg and never moaned for a second about it, so I don’t either because I’ve got two legs.
“When I was in hospital my dad also said to the doctors that with my determination I would survive, and he’s made up for me.
“A few years ago I could virtually do nothing for myself, but now I can virtually live independently again.
“I want to go on now and work in accountancy because I love working with numbers and I hope to do maths at A-level.”
Arts faculty administrator Tracey Ball said: “He has demonstrated superhuman determination to regain motor and cognitive skills, despite the odds being stacked heavily against him.
“Jack has pushed himself relentlessly and is determined to regain his bright future.”