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Young footballers raise £1,615 for hospitals where friend was treated
A TEENAGE footballer’s teammates have raised more than £1,600 for the two hospitals that saved his life.
Twelve-year-old Lewis Smith underwent a six-hour operation in which part of his skull was removed to clear a life-threatening sinus infection.
Kind-hearted clubmates at Botley Under-13s raised £1,615 for Southampton General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth to say thanks for saving their pal’s life.
Doctors initially thought that Swanmore College student Lewis had suffered concussion after he complained of headaches following a clash of heads with a teammate during a training session at the beginning of the summer holidays.
But when Lewis and his family set off on a holiday to Cornwall in mid-July, his mother Nicki realised that something was wrong when she noticed swelling on his forehead.
The swelling got bigger and eventually covered one of his eyes, leading to the family cutting short their holiday and returning to Hampshire.
Lewis was admitted to Queen Alexandra Hospital on August 14 and given a CT scan which identified that he had a sinus infection between his skull and his brain.
He was rushed by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital and surgeons carried out a six-hour operation in which they took out part of his skull.
Following the successful operation, Lewis, from Droxford, is still off school and not allowed back on the football pitch, but is making steady progress in his recovery.
M u m Nicki, 44, said: “The prompt action from staff at both hospitals saved his life.
“When he had the operation it was the worst night of our lives, it was horrendous.
“But now he’s doing really well, and we’re really thankful to staff at the two hospitals, who were fantastic.”
Since then Portsmouth and Arsenal fan Lewis has received signed photos from Saints, Pompey and Liverpool, and a personal letter from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, while his teammates clubbed together to buy him a new England shirt.
On Sunday, left-back Lewis was reunited with his kindhearted teammates at Botley Under-13s.
They raised the cash for the hospitals by auctioning items, including a signed Saints first team pennant, a pair of goalkeeping gloves signed by Saints keeper Artur Boruc, and a signed Eastleigh football shirt.
They also played a charity match against their dads, while player Ollie Chambers did a sponsored 5km run.
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