THEY haven’t seen each other in months and their first meeting was hardly under normal circumstances.
But eight-year-old Sydul Islam knew exactly what to say to Jason Clark: ‘Thanks for saving my life.’
The youngster, who attends Stamshaw Juniors, was visibly moved when he came face-to-face with the tyre fitter yesterday afternoon, as pictured on the front page.
Sydul was on his way to school when he was hit by a taxi and trapped underneath in a terrifying ordeal which could all too easily have turned into a tragedy on the morning of Tuesday, July 26.
Lucky for him Mr Clark, 20, who was opening R&L Tyres for the day, saw the commotion on his doorstep and ran out with two jacks to help lift the vehicle off the boy.
Sydul said: ‘It’s such a great pleasure to meet Mr Clark. He saved my life. It was a very scary time for me but if I had been under the car for longer things could have turned out a lot worse.
‘I’ve said a big thank you to him for coming to my rescue. Meeting him has made today a very special day for me.’
The youngster, of Stamshaw Road, spent four days at Queen Alexandra Hospital recovering from head, back and neck injuries, and still suffers from pain in his jaw.
Recalling what happened, he said: ‘I lost consciousness at first as I don’t remember much, but a few minutes later I did wake up and I was in a lot of pain all over my body and I was crying out.
‘My head was bleeding a lot and I had injuries to my back. My left eye was badly swollen. But I know I’m lucky.’
Turning to Mr Clark, he added: ‘I owe you one!’
Despite the good cheer, the gravity of the situation is not lost on Mr Clark, who is still shocked by what he saw.
He said: ‘If it had happened 20 minutes earlier I wouldn’t have been in the shop. I dread to think how things would have turned out.
‘I’ll never forget hearing the tyres screeching and when I looked out I saw a taxi in the middle of the road and someone underneath.
‘I ran out with two jacks and a police officer helped me lift the car. When I saw it was a kid who was trapped underneath my heart sank. It was a nail-biting experience but I’m so pleased Sydul’s okay. It’s great to finally meet him.’
Headteacher Simon Cattermole, added: ‘I’m convinced Jason’s quick thinking saved Sydul from a far more serious injury. I’m pleased they’ve had the chance to meet and celebrate this happy ending.’