IT WAS a double celebration for schoolgirl Vanessa Milek when she returned home from hospital in time for her 14th birthday party.
Vanessa, a pupil at St Christopher's High School in Accrington, was left fighting for her life when she fell from a tree while collecting conkers in the town's Milnshaw Park in September.
She suffered serious head injuries, a broken wrist and damage to her kidney, spleen and pancreas, and spent more than 10 weeks at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital - where she amazed doctors with her progress.
And on her birthday last Thursday, the teenager returned to her home in Westwood Street, Accrington, for a welcome back party with family and friends.
Mum Angela said Vanessa, who was presented with a birthday cake and a video by nurses before she left hospital, was "thrilled" to be back home.
She said: "Vanessa came back home on Thursday afternoon, and straight away her friends from school all piled in with cards and presents. She was so excited about seeing everyone again and she had a wonderful birthday.
"She's hoping to go back to school on Monday, just for a couple of hours a day, and a special needs teacher will be there to look after her. The best option is for her to be back with her friends.
"The school has been fantastic and Vanessa is really looking forward to it - she has been trying her uniform on to make sure it still fits as she's lost so much weight.
"She has also been to see a paediatric consultant, who said that she is doing really well, and we're thrilled with her progress. I'm just so pleased to have her back home."