A boy who lost his mum and little brother in an horrific car crash is getting a special Christmas treat.
Brave Kyle Rhodes, six, was also seriously injured in the crash and suffered agonising injuries including a broken leg, internal injuries, a large cut to his neck and damage to his lungs and spleen.
The youngster, who now lives with his paternal grandparents, has sadly said he isn’t looking forward to Christmas this year, according to his grandma Pat.
But friends of the family are hoping he will have something to look forward to after he won a Christmas party with a Santa Sleepover at Alton Towers this weekend.
Kyle’s mum Rebecca Smith, 24 and five-year old brother Corey Rhodes ere rushed to hospital following the accident in Draycott in August of this year, The Stoke Sentinel reports.
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But Corey was pronounced dead a short time later and Rebecca died the following day.
Kyle was taken by air ambulance to Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital, where he underwent surgery and had his leg pinned.
He is now living with his dad James’s parents Pat and Jeff Rhodes.
Pat, aged 67, of Well Street, Cheadle, said: "We have had a very, very difficult year – especially Kyle. He saw his little brother die.
"He was extremely close to Corey and misses him so much – he keeps clinging to his grandad, but doesn’t talk about the accident. He has blanked it out."
Following the accident, Jeff, aged 63, who works at JCB, took bereavement leave to help look after Kyle with his wife who is retired.
Pat said: "We are getting used to doing the school run and dealing with paying for school dinners etc, but it’s all changed since our two sons were at school.
"Jeff is due to go back to work soon.
"Because Kyle is so close to his grandad it’s going to be very difficult, but we’ll get through it."
Kyle, a former pupil of Clarice Cliff School in Fenton, now attends St Giles’ Catholic Primary School in Cheadle, where he has been receiving counselling.
Pat said: "He has started to make friends at school. I’ve seen him playing with different children and he does his homework every night, but he’s very, very quiet.
"We are trying to make Christmas extra special for him this year and have put a tree and decorations up but he has ignored them.
"I overheard a woman ask him if he was looking forward to Christmas the other day – he replied ‘no’.
"To be nominated to win the Santa Sleepover was very, very nice and so kind."
Margaret Chandler, who nominated Kyle and his grandparents, said: "I saw the Alton Towers competition in The Stoke Sentinel and Kyle came to mind straightaway.
"After everything he has gone through, I see that little lad go into school every morning with a big smile on his face.
"He’s had a bad year and it’s just heart-breaking, but I just thought a little bit of magic will help make things easier for him and give him something to look forward to."
- Bed and breakfast in the Splash Landings Hotel
- A festive evening meal
- Tickets to the Alton Towers Alice in Wonderland pantomime
- A day ticket to the theme park
- A one-day entry to the waterpark
- A game of nine-hole extraordinary golf
- Evening entertainment including meet and greets and shows
- A special farewell from Santa
Sentinel Editor Martin Tideswell said: "We were absolutely overwhelmed with nominations for this brilliant competition prize donated by our friends at Alton Towers.
"In truth, every nominee was worthy and it was wonderful to see so many people make the time to put others forward for a special treat. Kyle has clearly had a terrible year.
"We hope this weekend he and his grandparents can make some lovely memories and know that our readers will join us in wishing him a magical time."
Divisional Director at Alton Towers Resort, Ian Crabbe, said: “Our hearts go out to Kyle and his family who really do deserve a special treat this Christmas.
"At Alton Towers Resort, we are all dedicated to making sure our guests have a wonderful time with us, and go home with magical memories.
"So we’ll be pulling out all the stops to make sure that Kyle and his grandparents have a truly unforgettable ‘Santa Sleepover’.”
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