A 'MIRACLE Child' whose heart stopped following an accident has defied doctors after his parents were told he was going to die.

Sarah and Tim Thorne feared the worst after finding their elder son Ethan unconscious in his grandparents' garden in Cheddon Fitzpaine.

The toddler was given CPR by his father before paramedics took over and he was then airlifted to Bristol Children's Hospital.

His parents were told to say their goodbyes to their child as doctors feared he wouldn't make it through the night as he lay in a coma in intensive care.

But Ethan, who turned three 12 days ago, astounded medical staff when he opened his eyes and started breathing on his own.

Sarah, 26, a senior carer at Abbeyfield, in Taunton, said: "He'd been playing and I found him after he'd suffered a cardiac arrest.

"Tim came running and he did CPR straightaway before the paramedics arrived. I think that's what saved him.

"It felt like a lifetime and then the air ambulance arrived and took him to Bristol, where he spent a week in intensive care.

"They got his heart beating again, but told us to say our goodbyes, saying, 'He won't make it through the night'. They kept telling us, 'His body's failing'.

"I was telling my husband, 'We're going to have to bury our son'."

Ethan has come round since the incident on May 4 and can communicate with his eyes, although he still hasn't spoken.

"But we've got our boy back," said Sarah, who lives in Trull with Tim, 39, and their other son, Ollie, ten months.

"He has brain damage and will never be back to himself - he's an outdoorsy type, consistently on the go, with a really cheeky personality.

"He can't walk at the moment. We know his movement will be damaged and he'll need rehab in the hope he'll walk again.

"We've no idea when he'll be coming home.

"We're so grateful to the medical staff and air ambulance people. They're calling Ethan the Miracle Child in Bristol."

A room was set aside at the hospital on June 15 for friends and family to join Ethan, who attends Beehive Nursery, at his third birthday party.