The family of Quinton Barham are overjoyed by the footballer’s miraculous recovery since his heart attack at a match.
Quinton, 13, of Hyde Road Trowbridge, collapsed at the side of the pitch while playing for Bradford on Avon Youth at Bromham.
He underwent a successful heart bypass at Bristol Children’s Hospital last Friday afternoon and doctors began to slow down his sedation.
His tubes were taken out on Monday morning and he is now sitting up, talking, smiling and eating.
His father, Paul Barham, 48, said: “Doctors told me that he is the biggest success they have known.
“I am shocked considering what he has gone through.
“Age has been on his side and I am extremely pleased he is on the road to recovery. He now has very little assistance and is aware of what is happening.
“He has not asked what happened to him and I won’t tell him until he asks.”
Doctors will keep a close eye on him and it is hoped he will be moved onto a ward in the coming days.
Mr Barham, a self-employed landscaper, has put work on hold to stay by his son’s bedside and has stayed at Ronald McDonald House, parents residential accommodation, since Quinton was admitted.
He said: “I won’t leave here until Quinton comes with me.
“The hospital has been fantastic, as well as the support from Bradford Town Youth Football club, friends and family.
The club’s chairman and manager have been visiting as well as his friends, who have stayed over with us at the hospital.”
Quinton’s mother Debbie Barham, 43, a part-time carer, said: “He gets tired very quickly which frustrates him.
“He managed to eat some toast and burger and chips, but he told me he’s missing his home-cooked meals.
“I want to thank everyone at the hospital who has helped Quinton with his recovery.”
Quinton’s sisters Toni-anne and Claire and brother Lathanial Barham have also been by their brother’s side.
Lathanial said: “It has been really quiet without him ,so I am looking forward to him coming home. We are all so thankful to everyone’s support”
Mr Barham said: “We will definitely be having a party for Quinton and we will be involved in some sort of fundraising to raise awareness of the need for first aid training.”
Bradford Town Youth’s coach and a parent administered CPR seconds after the Clarendon Academy pupil collapsed while playing for Bradford in an U14 cup game at Bromham on Sunday, February 3.
Mr Barham said: “Without the help and knowledge of people there that day, Quinton would not be here. If we can help someone in the future then that is what it’s all about.
“I want to raise as much awareness as I can. It is so important for everyone on the pitch to have first aid training and awareness. Not just on the pitch, but during training too.”
Bradford Town Youth Football Club has bought a defibrillator to be installed in their Winsley grounds and will give the coaches appropriate training to use it.
Club chairman, Nick Maw, said: “We are looking into the logistics of also trying to have a floating defibrillator which we will be able to transport to matches in remote locations.
“Players and parents have also stepped up and want first aid training which we will arrange for them. This will include administering CPR.”