Teenager improves after life saving op

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Chorley teenager Jamie Smith is making good progress following a savage beating that his family say nearly killed him.

The 17-year-old has spent nearly a month in intensive care since being assaulted in Pilling Lane.

The teenager has been moved to the coronary unit at Royal Preston Hospital but doctors have warned a lot more work is needed before the youngster is back to full health.

His 17-year-old girlfriend Josie Maiorana, of Wrightington, and his mother Jill Bibby, of Liptrott Road, Chorley, have been among his many visitors.

At one stage the youngster was given only a 50/50 chance of survival but has recovered well after a life-saving tracheotomy to help him breath easier.

Josie said: "It's horrible - he looks really skinny. It is like looking at a different person."

She has been so distraught by the injuries to Jamie that she lost her job as a waitress because she wasn't focusing on her work properly and has spent the last five weeks at his bedside.

His sister Laura Smith, 18, ran out of the hospital bedroom in tears when she saw her brother sitting up for the first time last week.

She had been on holiday in Gran Canaria and was shocked when she saw that he had lost around 14lbs and looked really pale.

Mum Jill Bibby hopes some good will come from the experience and is convinced her son will stay on the right side of the law as he's had problems with authority in the past.

"Hopefully this will put him on the straight and narrow," she said.

"It has definitely frightened him and he knows that he's lucky to be alive."

Last week family were hoping he would be home for his 18th birthday - on October 24 - but now that dream looks unlikely after doctors said he is still too ill.

His mum said: "We'll be taking him a cake and some things. He still looks really ill and can't remember anything from the accident. It will be a few more weeks before he's allowed to come home."

Jamie was attacked near Rangletts recreational ground, Pilling Lane, on September 9. A man has been arrested and bailed by police.