A SCHOOLBOY is in a Swiss hospital following a serious skiing accident.

Nicholas Guest was placed in a coma following the incident, which took place at the resort of Saas-Fee, near the Italian border, last Tuesday.

His family have flown out to Switzerland to be at his bedside at the hospital in Sion, in the south-west of the country.

A crowdfunding page has also been set up to support the family, with the initial target of £1,000 smashed within a matter of hours.

Older sister Lizzy is among those to have flown out and told the Courier: “Nicholas was over here visiting friends and he was skiing up in the mountains.

“He went over one of the jumps and he landed and hit his head on the ground.

“He cracked his helmet and he blacked out for a couple of minutes.

“He then came round and he actually made a video of himself, a selfie video, and we could see his face.

“He was telling us what happened and then after that he was in and out of consciousness. He deteriorated over the next two hours and that was when he went into a deep coma.

“The impact of the injury just kept getting worse on his brain.”

The 17-year-old of Tranent’s Lawson Way, who attends Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans, was airlifted to hospital before being moved to another hospital in Sion.

Nicholas has since undergone surgery, with doctors continuing to monitor the pressure on his brain.

Lizzy, who lives in Haddington, said: “They kept him in an induced coma and they just monitored him from there, taking small steps.

“After two days, they took him off the medication and he woke up but could not speak, eat or drink. He still had all the life support tubes and breathing apparatus on him. Slowly, after each day we have been here, there have been slight improvements but no change to his brain condition.

“He has fluid on his brain and it has not gone away yet.

“If the pressure gets too intense, they will have to do another operation.”

Nicholas, who is in S5 at Preston Lodge High School, is now able to breathe on his own and can speak but his sister said there was still a long road to recovery.

Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, she was able to provide an update.

She said: “Yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon, we found out he had moved into a neurological ward out of intensive care, due to no negative changes to his brain. We’re super chuffed!

“He still continues to have the same problems – speech and mobility; however, slight improvement in managing to eat and drink with assistance a little better.”

The teenager was given skiing equipment for Christmas and “absolutely loves snow sports”.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Lizzy’s fiancé, Daniel Hunter, with more than £2,000 already raised.

Pupils at Preston Lodge High School are also hosting a fundraising coffee morning tomorrow (Friday), while a raffle will also be held at Preston Lodge RFC’s clubhouse on Saturday afternoon.

Lizzy, 27, who has been joined in Switzerland by her mum Marian, as well as siblings John, Charles, Theresa, and fiancé Daniel, was thankful for the support everyone had shown.

She said: “It has been super heart-warming. We are so grateful to everybody that has supported us. There are so many people who have helped out and we were just so amazed. We told Nicholas about the fundraising and he was overwhelmed as well by everyone’s support.”

Gavin Clark, headteacher at Preston Lodge, wished Nicholas a speedy recovery, with hopes that the keen rugby player could return home within a matter of days.

He said: “Our thoughts are with Nicholas and his family at the moment.

“Nicholas is a likeable and much-loved member of our school community, and our very best wishes go to him and his family at this difficult time.

“Many in our school community were keen to support the family, so we are bringing together senior students and staff this Friday for a coffee morning, with all proceeds going to the online fundraising efforts to support the family.”

Jason Riley, club development officer at Preston Lodge Rugby Football Club, where Nicholas plays for the under-18s, said the news had come as a shock.

He said: “Nicholas is a really nice guy, such a nice character, and nobody has a bad word to say about him. He always goes out of his way to help others and I know the news of him being hurt took a lot of people by surprise.

“He has a lot of people in his corner wishing him all the best and hoping he makes a full recovery.”

To help support the family, make a donation at gofundme.com/support-for-nicolas