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‘Grit and determination’ - Young man had Covid-19 while in coma

Joseph Flavill, 18, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on March 1, and has not woken up since. Picture: Supplied by the family

Joseph Flavill, 18, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on March 1, and has not woken up since. Picture: Supplied by the family

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Norfolk family members of a young man who fought off Covid-19 while in a coma have rallied to help him back to health.

Joseph Flavill, 18, left, with cousin Joseph Barron, 'papa' Brian Teather and cousin Harry Yarbo. Picture: Supplied by the familyJoseph Flavill, 18, left, with cousin Joseph Barron, 'papa' Brian Teather and cousin Harry Yarbo. Picture: Supplied by the family

Joseph Flavill, 18, suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on March 1, and has not woken up since.

Known for his humour, generosity and love of sport, Joseph had just finished his A-Levels in his hometown, Burton upon Trent.

He has relatives in Sheringham and Norwich, many of whom are planning to take part in some stages of a fundraising cycle from Nottingham to Cornwall.

Among them are aunt and uncle Kate and Bob Yarbo, from Sheringham, and their children Harry, 17, Aiysha, 15, Nelson 11.

Joseph Flavill, 18, right, with members of his family. Picture: Supplied by the familyJoseph Flavill, 18, right, with members of his family. Picture: Supplied by the family

Mrs Yarbo, 51, said: “It has really been a nightmare - as a family we feel totally helpless. We’re trying to raise some money to help his recovery, whatever shape that may take.”

Joseph is being cared for in Leicester General Hospital, where, during his coma, he fought off Covid-19 and is now recovering from pneumonia.

His mum, Sharon, visits him regularly.

Mrs Yarbo said: “The fact he’s managed to fight through what he has shows his grit and determination.

“He goes through periods of being very responsive. He makes noises as through he is trying very hard to communicate.”

Mrs Yarbo said Joseph was an active lad who loved surfing, cricket, hockey and skiing.

He is a scout, an air cadet, and he had been due to visit Buckingham Palace to receive his gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in May.

Mrs Yarbo said Joseph had regularly visited Norfolk and the extended family often spent their holidays in Cornwall.

She said he was “all about putting other people first”.

Mrs Yarbo said: “When you’re away on holiday with a teenager it’s not often that they want to spend half an hour in a shop trying to find the right present for his mother.

“He’s a joy to have around. In 18 years he’s touched so many lives.”

Joseph was a pedestrian when he was hit by a vehicle in Burton, and the incident is still being investigated.

Donations can be made at www.josephsjourney.co.uk to support Joseph’s recovery.


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