30th Jun 2020
Our two-year-old son was saved by KSS in 2018. It was coincidentally just a month after we signed up to take part in their lottery scheme. We were at our local petrol station and my fiancé Michael joked as he got back in the car after registering, saying ‘I’ll probably never use the Air Ambulance but it’s a good cause so I thought I’d sign up anyway’.
A month later Michael and I were driving to our friend’s wedding rehearsal. Our two-year-old, Isaac, was in the back of the car. He was going to be a pageboy at the reception the following day. I was 24 weeks pregnant at the time.
The road started to bend as we neared Goudhurst, in Tunbridge Wells. As we came around the corner we had to stop abruptly, as the temporary traffic lights ahead had stopped working and a queue of cars had piled up. We just about managed to stop in time. It was a 60mph road and I thought to myself ‘I don’t like sitting on this corner’, right when a car hurtled around the bend behind us and came into the back of our car.
I didn’t feel anything, neither did Michael. It was then that I turned around and saw Isaac. He looked as though he was sleeping, like he’d fallen asleep on the journey but I realised that he’d been knocked unconscious in the collision.
I lifted him out of the car, I’m not sure now if I was meant to do that but fortunately someone queuing in the traffic on the other side of the road came to help us. Robin, who was a nurse, put Isaac in the back of his car, where he had an oxygen tank. I’m so thankful for Robin as I think this must’ve really helped Isaac.
That’s when we saw the dent in his head, on his frontal bone, which really shocked me. I can still picture it now. I later learnt that he’d suffered a depressed skull fracture.
Everything else went by in a bit of a blur – I wasn’t aware of it at the time but a road ambulance appeared and KSS arrived in their helicopter. I was in so much shock that I didn’t hear the aircraft land. KSS intubated Isaac at the side of the road. It was awful seeing him lying there, I had to turn my face away. By this point his head had swollen up and you couldn’t actually see the dent.
Michael and I went in the helicopter with Isaac. I felt so reassured by the crew. I couldn’t hear anything in the aircraft, but Ben Clarke, the Paramedic kept putting his thumb up to me. It was such a small thing but it meant so much. It made me feel as though Isaac was completely safe.
We were taken to King’s College Hospital in London, where Isaac spent 24 hours in intensive care, till he’d had surgery on his skull. He spent 12 days in hospital in total. It was an incredibly difficult time, what with me being pregnant as well.
When he came home, Isaac had three months over the summer of not being allowed to go to places like the park or play centres. This was part of his recovery, to let his head heal. On his third birthday though we got the news that we could go out, so we took him to the park and he had a really good play and run around, which was lovely. In the October of 2018 his younger brother Louis arrived, who was healthy and absolutely fine.
That Christmas Isaac had his first nativity play, and I couldn’t stop crying as I watched him. There was one point after his incident that we didn’t know what would be possible for him, but he’s doing so well and is such a funny little boy – he’s like a teenager with lots of banter, a right cheeky chap.
Isaac didn’t have to have any medication following the incident, he just has to have physiotherapy on his feet. He was so young when the accident happened so it was tricky to see any lasting effects, but he’s definitely a fighter.
He’s now four, turning five in September 2020 and is doing really well. We’ve just ordered his primary school uniform. He’s so ready for school and can’t wait to start. We’ve just been told to let the school know if they spot any behavioural or concentration problems.
Thankfully Isaac doesn’t remember the crash anymore but he knows how much KSS helped him and understands what the charity does for people. We always wave and say thank you when we see the helicopters flying past.
It’s so emotional when I think back over the past few years. We joked when we signed up to the lottery, but if it weren’t for fundraisers like that, KSS wouldn’t exist and our son might not be alive today. I still can’t believe that KSS is a charity, they really deserve support because you just never know when you might need them. We’ll support the lottery for life now, it’s the least we can do.
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