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Girl kicked in head by horse back at school.

Byline: Rob Pattinson

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl left fighting for her life after she was kicked in the head by a horse has returned to school.

Nikita Battye's traumatic head injuries are now little but a fading memory for the brave girl.

Just a month after suffering a fractured skull in the accident, she is back at school.

Nikita had only spent two days at the start of the new September term with classmates at Green Lane Primary School, in Barnard Castle, when the accident happened.

Parents John and Tina Battye waited anxiously at her bedside as she slept in an eight-day induced coma. Now delighted their lives have returned to some sort of normality, they remain indebted to the Great North Air Ambulance they believe saved their daughter's life.

Medics believe had it not been for the trained anaesthetist who was able to prevent secondary injury at the scene, Nikita may not have survived.

Back in the classroom, though, all thoughts of the near-fatal accident have been pushed from her mind. Reception pupil Nikita spent a week being helped by her mum in the classroom, before returning full-time on her own.

Community garden manager, and former world power-lifting champion, John, 41, said: "She's loving being back. She was awarded star pupil of the week, after her first week back.

"The teachers have said they aren't worried about her falling behind, because she was already quite advanced when she got to school.

"We're definitely feeling relieved things are back to normal and Nikita loves being back at home with her puppy. She's been back out to feed the horses with us too, but she's been keeping out of the field."

Nikita and Tina had been feeding the family's horses when one of the animals was 'spooked' by a sudden gust of wind and kicked-out.

With no mobile phone reception Tina carried Nikita a mile back to the family home in Butterknowle, near Bishop Auckland, in County Durham, before the Air Ambulance took her to James Cook Hospital, on Teesside, for emergency surgery.

A spokesperson for the GNAA said: "We are delighted to see Nikita is back at school. It just goes to show how strong she is. She really is a little fighter and full of determination."

To find out more about donating to the Great North Air Ambulance, call (01325) 487263. Alternatively, log on to


SMILING AGAIN Nikita Battye was in an eight-day induced coma after being kicked.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2009
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