Mum’s pride for torch bearer son

Newmarket Journal - March 2012''Aaron Bettoney from Red Lodge who has been selected as an Olympic Torch bearer.
Newmarket Journal - March 2012''Aaron Bettoney from Red Lodge who has been selected as an Olympic Torch bearer.

EVERY mum thinks her son is special, but the Olympic Torch Relay organisers seem to agree with Karen Bettoney.

She nominated her 13-year-old son Aaron as a torch bearer because she was so proud of how he coped with recovery after a road accident. He will carry the torch in Aylsham, north Norfolk, on July 4.

Three years ago, Aaron was hit by a car near his home in Red Lodge and suffered a severe head injury which left him unconscious with a fractured skull. The East Anglian Air Ambulance flew him and his father David to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

Karen, who is now a volunteer with EAAA, says that saved his life. “They got him to the hospital in something silly like four minutes. I had to go by road and it was a nightmare.”

Aaron had to relearn how to walk and did not return to school full time for three months. Karen said: “I nominated him as a torch bearer because of the way he handled it. He didn’t let anything phase him.”

Aaron is matter of fact about it. Asked if he is fully recovered he says yes, but then adds: “I only have one deaf ear.”

He remembers nothing of the accident. “I just woke up in hospital,” he said. “I didn’t know what happened or why I was there.”

Though he is proud of being chosen and is running a mile a day to make sure he is fit enough, he is surprised at the interest in it.

“I didn’t really think people would be impressed because it’s something that happens every four years,” he said. “My friends are always asking when I’m doing it and where. They want me to take the torch into school to show them.”

His sister and two brothers will take time off school to see him run.

n There are nearly 20 torch bearers from West Suffolk and Thetford running as far apart as Spalding and Colchester. The torch comes through Bury St Edmunds on July 7 and the Bury Free Press will have a Torch supplement next Friday.