BOORAGUL teen Blake Tweedie, who has emerged from a coma after a horrific accident, had his spirits lifted with a visit from Knights star Jarrod Mullen.
Mr Tweedie, 18, faces a long recovery, having become a paraplegic with brain damage after being hit from behind by a four-wheel-drive.
Mr Mullen visited Mr Tweedie in John Hunter Hospital recently, giving him a signed jersey and hat.
‘‘The club got the call after Blake’s accident because he is a mad fan and his family thought we could help lift his spirits,’’ Mr Mullen said.
‘‘We were more than happy to spend some time with Blake.
‘‘He is obviously doing it tough but he responded to us, which was great to see.’’
Mr Mullen hoped he brightened his day and ‘‘helped in some way’’.
‘‘I told him we would come back to check on him and I would take some of the other boys with me,’’ he said.
Mr Tweedie’s mother Melissa Tweedie, of Toronto, said she appreciated the Knights’ compassion.
The Newcastle Herald reported last month that a vehicle hit Mr Tweedie while he was walking home from Booragul railway station with two mates along the side of Toronto Road near St Paul’s High School, Booragul.
The impact threw him 20metres through the air.
After emerging from a coma, Mr Tweedie was moved from intensive care to the hospital’s high-dependency unit.
‘‘They’re not sure how much brain damage he has until he goes to Sydney in a fortnight for rehab,’’ Mrs Tweedie said.
Mrs Tweedie said her son had died twice, once on impact and a second time on the operating table.
It will be a long road ahead for Mr Tweedie, but he has improved and started to communicate.
Mrs Tweedie said her son would be in rehabilitation for about 12 months.
While he could not talk, and needed speech therapy, he was texting.
‘‘We took him his iPod to listen to music and the next minute we gave him his phone and he was texting,’’ she said.