HORROR crash victim Jessica Bootes has had her bravery recognised with an award.
Jessica, four, was seriously hurt in a five-car pile-up at Jarrow’s Lindisfarne Roundabout in March.
She was left fighting for her life at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and spent 11 days in an induced coma.
The impact of the crash left her without a chunk of one side of her skull.
Jessica, of Centenary Avenue, Harton, South Shields, was also paralysed down the right-hand side of her body, but her movement is now slowly returning.
She spent 17 weeks in hospital before being allowed home.
Now, her bravery has been recognised by the Children’s Foundation.
The youngster picked up one of the Newcastle-based charity’s star awards at a presentation ceremony to mark the courage she has shown.
Her mum Lisa Orrock, 31, says it has given her daughter a real boost.
Jessica was nominated by one of her physiotherapists, Sue Raine.
Mum Lisa, also given an award at the event, said: “The ceremony was lovely, and there were lots of children there for different reasons.
“Jessica won, and it was a great achievement for her.
“She really enjoyed it and took it all in.
“She has come so far, and it was a nice little thing for her to have.”
Jessica is now getting ready to start at Bamburgh School in Norham Avenue, South Shields, in September.
She had been nervous about that prospect before being given her star award, but her mum says it has given her the lift she needed ahead of her first visit.
She added: “Jessica was anxious about her first visit to the school, but the award really boosted her.
“She had her first visit there on Friday, and she can’t wait to go there now in September.
“She’s really, really looking forward to it.”
Jessica still has a huge battle ahead of her and faces major surgery later this year as specialists try to rebuild her skull.
Mum Lisa added: “Jessica still has an uphill battle, but her fight and determination are second to none, and it is admirable how far she has come.
“She looks fantastic, and to look at her, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.
“We’re still waiting to find out when the operation will take place, though, as she’s still missing the left-hand side of her skull.”