LONDON -- The family of the child who was thrown five stories off a London art gallery platform say he is making progress, and a stranger has helped raise over $100,000 to aid his recovery.
The French 6-year-old was visiting the Tate Modern with his mother in early August when he was picked up and thrown over the railing of the 10th floor viewing platform. The boy landed on the roof of a five-story building about 100 feet below.
He was taken to hospital by air ambulance where officials said he had suffered a brain injury and a fractured spine, as well as fractures to his arms and legs.
"Our little boy doesn't know anymore how to speak, to eat or to move his body but he begins to do his best to move his tongue, his right arm and hand," the family said in a Sept. 29 statement. "We see his efforts. We believe with all our heart that he will find the way, from his head, to do everything again. He is very brave. He keeps on smiling and reacting to our jokes.”
The boy is finding it hard to come to terms with his injuries, the family said: “We begin to see also, unfortunately, his suffering...he doesn’t understand why he cannot manage to eat or swallow a little bit of yogurt or instance...and he wants so much to be able to do it.”
Vicky Diplacto, a London nurse, set up a GoFundMe page for the boy's recovery, raising $100,000 so far.
"My brother was left paralyzed and in a wheelchair after an accident abroad so it really hit home and struck a chord with me,” she told local news website Surrey Live. "We just wanted to show the family that as a collective in Britain and the UK we are behind them and supporting them."
Writing on the GoFundMe page, Diplacto said: “The hope is that this campaign may raise some funds, however great or small, in order that he may receive gold standard care and support, alongside supporting his family to receive the ongoing care and support that they may need-when they need it.”
The target was €20,000 originally ($21,800), but the donations have quickly surpassed that with over 2,400 people contributing.
Diplacto has been relaying news from the boy’s family – who cannot be named for privacy reasons – since early September.
At the time of the incident, police arrested a 17-year-old male on suspicion of attempted murder. He will next appear in court on Monday, Feb. 3, in the Old Bailey – the central criminal court of England and Wales. He is being charged with attempted murder.