Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Tate Modern
The young boy who survived a horrifying fall from a 10th floor balcony at the Tate Modern in London is slowly but surely making progress, and has started to walk again, his family said.
The child was 6 years old when he was thrown from a viewing platform at the popular art gallery in August 2019 while on vacation with his family from France.
British police said at the time that he fell 100 feet, and he has spent the last 15 months recovering in the hospital.
In a statement released on a GoFundMe fundraising page, the boy’s family said that he remains in the hospital, and is improving despite setbacks with his memory.
“Despite everything, he continues to make efforts and progress: he [is beginning] to walk with a tetrapod cane while we hold him by the back of the coat for balance,” the statement said. “He also has less pain, so the doctors were able to lower his medication.”
The family said he is also starting to use his left arm more and more to complete small tasks, such as holding a tube of toothpaste, or closing his glasses case, and that his speech is also improving.
“He continues to recover his breath. He still speaks very slowly, but now speaks word by word and no longer syllable by syllable,” the statement said. “He tries to sing and make up songs with rhymes.”
Because of the pandemic, the family is no longer able to take him on weekend visits outside of the hospital, though they say they look forward to the day they can, as their son misses visiting his grandparents and friends.
“Sorry that we couldn’t have written earlier. We try to relay the progress of our little knight as much as possible despite the reorganizations due to the [lockdown],” the statement read. “Thank you very much for all your support. You carry us. Thank you for that.”
In June, a judge ruled that 18-year-old Jonty Bravery will face at least 15 years in prison for throwing the child, as he “intended to kill someone that day,” the Associated Press reported.
"You will spend the greater part — if not all — of your life detained," Central Criminal Court Judge Maura McGowan said, per the outlet. "You may never be released."
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McGowan also noted that Bravery had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and a personality disorder, according to CNN, but told Bravery during the sentencing that "those conditions alone do not explain your offending and your general behavior."
Bravery pleaded guilty to one count attempted murder in December, according to a news release from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Authorities said at the time that Bravery, then 17, had told police after his arrest that his plan was to hurt someone that day in order to be on TV.
"This devastating and shocking incident at the Tate Modern on 4 August of this year changed the lives of Bravery’s young victim and his family forever," prosecutor Emma V. Jones said in a statement. "The boy was singled out by Bravery who threw him from the viewing platform intending to kill him."
Jones said the fact that the victim survived the fall was "extraordinary."