Regional | Health

Six-year-old boy fighting for his life in Starship Hospital after a hit-and-run in Whanganui

A six-year-old boy is fighting for his life in Starship Children’s Hospital, after a hit-and-run car accident, in Whanganui over the weekend.

John Major Taurua-Mckay, known as Major, was struck by a car as he and his four brothers crossed the road on their way home from a park in Castlecliff on Saturday.

His uncle and namesake, John Taurua, says Major has a brain injury, multiple skull fractures and six broken ribs.

Major was flown from Whanganui Hospital to Starship on Sunday morning and has received multiple surgeries before being put into an induced coma, his uncle says.

“Now our thoughts change to the brain. Like is his roro (brain) going to be all good? Are there going to be long-term effects? So all our prayers are in that at the moment, hopefully, that he comes around and is his normal meathead self.”

Super cheeky Māori boy

Taurua says Major is “super cheeky” and a real “tough nut”.

“You’ve seen six-year-old Māori boys from Whanganui. That’s what he’s like. He’s real mischief. He’s super cheeky.”

Taurua says Major has heaps of cousins and out of them all, Major is the toughest. He also loves playing rugby and scores tries every time he plays.

“His smile. He’s got a really significant husky voice when he talks,” Taurua says.

The vehicle involved in the accident was described by police as a small hatchback-sized, light blue coloured car. The driver of the car has been located by police.

Taurua says, instead of focusing on the diver, the family is focused on Major and his recovery.

“Us older ones have said let’s just let the cops deal with that… We’re trying to keep the focus on the positive side of things and not get all angry about that side.”

A givealittle page has been made to help fund Major’s medical care and recovery, along with support for his brothers.

“Nui te aroha ki a rātou. Just thank you very much to people who are [donating]. All of the remarks are read and our family is super grateful. And be at ease that the funds will be used for our boy and everything to do with making the stressful situation easier on him, his parents and brothers.”

Police are still asking residents to check any CCTV cameras and pass the footage on to them if the car was captured in it.