The fundraising efforts of a little boy and his schoolmates have helped boost funds at the hospital which saved his life.

Jamie Holmes, eight, was placed in intensive care last June after collapsing at his home in Well Croft, Otley.

He had been enjoying a shopping trip with his mum when he complained of suffering from a headache.

Used to the day to day ailments of young children, she dosed him up with medicine and told him to rest.

Hours later he collapsed on the floor in agony and lost all feeling on the left side of his body.

He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary where doctors immediately scanned his brain and found he was suffering from a haemorrhage caused by an arterio-venous malformation (AVM).

An AVM is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain that usually forms before birth. The condition occurs when arteries in the brain connect directly to nearby veins without having the normal vessels (capillaries) between them.

Jamie was placed in intensive care and was in a coma for two days while his parents, Hannah, 36, and Michael, 39, kept vigil by his bedside.

Hannah told Wharfedale Newspapers: “It was terrifying. Jamie was always such a fit and healthy little boy. When he said he had a headache I just thought he was coming down with something so when he collapsed I was terrified and really shocked.

“The doctors were very reassuring and calm. They told us he had suffered a haemorrhage but said they would have to monitor him for a few days until the bleed dispersed so that they could get a better picture of where the AVM was.

“We just had to keep hoping he would be okay and wait to see what would happen. It was a very difficult time.”

Once the bleeding had dispersed, surgeons were given the go-ahead to operate to remove the AVM.

Jamie was in theatre for ten and a half hours while they removed part of his skull to take out the bleed.

Hannah said: “The doctors explained that the AVM was something certain children were born with. There is no way of knowing it is there until something happens.

“Normally the blood vessels meet in a straight line but in Jamie they were like a bunch of grapes.

“When he came round after the operation his head was very swollen. He looked like he had been in a boxing match but gradually we started to see an improvement and he was allowed home within a week, which seemed incredible.

“There were lots of other children on the ward who had been through similar trauma but Jamie kept so calm. He never complained once when he was in there, he just got on with it. He showed tremendous strength and courage. He was amazing.”

Jamie then began the process of recovery at home and gradually started to regain the feeling in his left side.

He returned to rejoin his classmates at St Joseph’s Primary School in Otley last September, having made an almost full recovery from the haemorrhage.

The school was so delighted with his success that they picked the children’s ward at Leeds General Infirmary as the chosen charity for their annual Advent Appeal.

Youngsters throughout the school, including Jamie, then began the task of raising cash for the hospital through a talent contest, sponsored events and a nativity display competition.

Hannah said: “I was really touched when the school said they wanted to give the money to LGI. The staff had been so kind to Jamie and so supportive of us.

“They knew he was an avid football fan and even wheeled in a television set for him after normal bedtime hours so he could watch the European champion-ships from his bed.

“The fact that the school were donating to the ward really has meant a lot and it was lovely to see Jamie getting involved.”

The efforts of the youngsters raised a total of £413.61 for the ward. A spokesman for the school said: “We were delighted to be able to help after what had happened to Jamie. The whole school took part and did really well. It is lovely to see him back to his normal self again.”

Jamie, who has made an almost complete recovery, is now getting on with life playing with his friends and his brother Sam, six.

Hannah said: “We are really pleased with his progress. We just took it day by day. He has lost some peripheral vision but it may well be that it returns. He is not one to get down and is just getting on with it. We are grateful to all the staff at the hospital who helped to save him and everyone at the school who showed such great support. It is lovely to know that so many people wanted to help.”

An AVM rupture occurs because of pressure and damage to brain tissue, as well as a lack of blood flow to the brain.

According to the Medline Plus website cerebral arterio-venous malformations occur in less than one per cent of the population.

Although the condition is present at birth, symptoms may occur at any age.

Haemorrhages occur most often in people aged 15 to 20, but can also occur later in life.