JUST days ago he was left fighting for his life after being hit by a car on a zebra crossing.

After suffering a fractured skull that caused bleeding on his brain, Benjamin Nancholas’ parents were warned that there was a “fine line” between him surviving and dying.

But thanks to the skills of Southampton General Hospital’s major trauma team, the 26-year-old from Winchester has made a full recovery and, to the disbelief of everyone, he will be home for Christmas.

Benjamin’s best friend Tom Blyth said: “He is just incredible. He’s Superman. I was in complete shock when I heard the news but look at him now. It is a miracle that he is home for Christmas.”

Benjamin was knocked down on the zebra crossing in Stockbridge Road, Winchester, as he made his usual walk to work on Tuesday morning.

Although he banged his head, he felt fine, so got up and headed home. But hours later his brother Liam found him collapsed at home, semi-conscious and fighting for his life.

Paramedics were called but rather than send him to the nearest hospital in Winchester, thanks to the Wessex Trauma Network which was established in April, Benjamin was taken straight to Southampton’s specialist trauma centre.

This meant that there was no delay in his treatment and he was in having life-saving brain surgery within less than an hour of arriving in Southampton.

Had this not happened and he was first taken to Winchester, it would have taken nearer to five hours before he was able to have surgery, reducing his chances of survival and slashing any hope of there being no long-term complications.

Dr Sanjay Ramamoorthy, consultant in emergency medicine, said: “Benjamin had a time critical brain injury where our team of specialist care can make a huge difference to outcomes, and thanks to the Wessex Trauma Network, he was able to come straight to us and bypass the nearest hospital, saving vital hours in his treatment.”

Just hours after his two-hour operation, Benjamin was up and awake, wondering how on earth he came to be there.

Benjamin, an administrator, said: “When I got knocked I thought I was absolutely fine, it must have been the adrenaline running through me. Next thing I knew I woke up in hospital.

“The first question I asked when I woke up was ‘Will I be home for Christmas?’ I am ecstatic that I will make it home and that’s all thanks to the great team here.

“I definitely don’t want a car for Christmas but I am after some festive hats to keep my shaved head warm.”

Dr Andy Eynon, director of major trauma, added: “Benjamin is a great example of the network working at its best.

“When it works it is fast and ultimately that makes the difference between life and death.”