Grateful mum to tackle Great Wall

The Vukovich family.
The Vukovich family.

The mum of a boy who was hit by a van and airlifted to hospital will walk the Great Wall of China to repay the charity that helped him.

The accident happened when Luca Vukovich was out for an after-school jog in George Street, Berkhamsted just a day after his 10th birthday last June.

Luca and Becki Vukovich with the air ambulance team.

Luca and Becki Vukovich with the air ambulance team.

Mum Becki had been expecting to pick him up from his childminder’s house in nearby Swing Gate Lane and take him to basketball practice.

Instead, she found herself waiting at Luca’s side for a helicopter to take him to the trauma unit of the Royal London Hospital.

Becki, 43, said: “I find it incredibly difficult to put into words how I was feeling.

“My husband and I were terrified, as Luca had sustained significant injuries. It is a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Luca had two broken thighs and a head injury, and since the accident he has had two operations and has had to learn to walk again.

For two months he was in a wheelchair, before walking with the aid of a Zimmer frame, then crutches, then unaided, although he still has a limp.

Previously, the sporty student of Berkhamsted’s Thomas Coram School had been a member of TringRugby Club and Kings Langley Tennis Club.

The day before his accident, he had taken part in a 5k run in Battersea Park, London, for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Becki said: “He’s doing well with his recovery and he’s very, very brave.

“He’s adjusted well to his injuries, considering how active he was and how he can’t do anything that he could do before.”

Luca, who lives with his family in Leighton Buzzard Road, Water End, now has physiotherapy every week and has to return to the Royal London Hospital every six weeks.

Becki said that thanks to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, Luca was at the specialist hospital within about 30 minutes of the collision.

But she said: “Up until his accident, I was aware that there were rescue helicopters – but I had no idea that it was a charity and totally self funded.

“They have to pay £5.3m a year to keep two helicopters in the air rescuing people. It costs £2,500 just to rescue one person.

“I want to raise £5,000 to give back the the money it cost to rescue Luca, plus another rescue.”

She will walk 13km of the Great Wall of China each day for a week in October to raise the cash in sponsorship money. She will fund the cost of the trip herself.

Meanwhile daughter Francesca, 12, will organise a cake sale at Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns School, where she is a pupil.

Dad David, 44, also plans on getting involved in fundraising events.

Becki said: “Without the whole family pulling together and raising the funds, I would not be able to do the trek.”

To sponsor them, visit or text Luca65_ followed by the amount you want to donate to 70700.