March 29, 2015

Monday 9th March Near Fatal Freak Accident Makes Headline News

Morning…I spent a lovely day in Lymington with my mum who was allowed home from the hospital for the weekend. The family all came to visit, including my nephews and niece. One of them helped my younger brother in the garden and asked “Are you granny’s gardener?” and then followed it up with ” and is auntie Fiona their carpet cleaner?”…all because I got down on my hands and cleaned some marks off their carpet…my role in life is complete!

There must be something about this time of year, as it was a year ago my youngest son had a near fatal, freak accident that made headline news. I can remember it so clearly.

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It was Sunday and had been a lovely sunny day. Everyone was out and about. We had been at a rehearsal and son had been at work. He phoned to check if we were home and said he was going to the park with some friends. Ten minutes later the doorbell rang. Some boys stood there saying I needed to come, as son had been involved in an accident. As a mother of two boys I was used to the dramas, disappointments and worry and thought to myself “oh lord, what has he been up to now!” We walked to the park and as the boys chatted I gathered that as he ran from some bees, a tree branch caught him and he fell. He got up and they noticed a gash in his neck. Just by chance some Red Cross men, who had been on a course, were chatting in the sun outside their homes, at the park entrance. The boys asked them to take a look at my son’s injury. They said “it didn’t look nice” but nasty cuts never do. We arrived at the entrance of the park to find the Red Cross van parked, son sitting in the passenger seat with his head resting on the dashboard, the injury covered and the two Red Cross men standing beside him, one with a clipboard monitoring his pulse. My son wasn’t saying much. They smiled when I arrived, which gave me the false sense of ‘nothing to worry about’…looking back, its probably what they wanted. Son’s girlfriend arrived as she had also finished work and had heard what happened, so she got into the drivers seat and sat with him. The Red Cross men joked that this would make him feel better and get his pulse racing! They told me he would need to go to hospital to have some stitches so I returned home to get my car. Husband was cooking Sunday lunch and said it would be ready by the time we got back. As I got out of my car to take son to the hospital, I was told an ambulance had been called. My brain started racing and I felt the first elements of panic..’Why did they need an ambulance for a cut on the neck needing a couple of stitches?”…but the red cross man kept smiling, so everything must be alright. It was decided that son’s girlfriend would go in the ambulance with him , whilst I would drive my car so I could bring them home later. The ambulance arrived, blocking the road and son was taken into it. Panic rose..he was in there way too long, the ambulancemen didn’t come out, but the red cross men kept on smiling and chatting. Finally, son’s girlfriend was allowed to get in the side door of the ambulance. The ambulanceman opened the back doors and said to me “I must warn you I am going to have to put the blue light on..it is very close to his main jugular vein. Someone was looking down on your son tonight, it is that close”…At that moment I could feel myself inwardly start to shake, suddenly I was scared, tears not far away.”Is he going to be alright?” I asked..the reply “he should be”. I quickly phoned my husband, as I started to follow the ambulance. Meanwhile son’s girlfriend who was oblivious to the severity took a photo of him.

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I lost the ambulance on the way and arrived at the hospital, parked and rushed in. I explained who I was. I sat down and waited and they came and said he was in resuscitation so I would have to wait. My fears rose. They eventually came and said they would take me through. I was taken to a room where my sons girlfriend was sitting all alone. The sort of room that people are taken who areĀ about to beĀ given bad news. As they rushed him into hospital she had apparently been pushed into the room and didn’t understand what was going on. We waited for what seemed like ages and I told her what the ambulanceman had said. Finally, a doctor came and explained that my son was very lucky indeed as the cut was millimeters away from killing him, but they also needed to scan his neck as they were worried there was a leakage to a main organ. We were relieved as we were allowed to see him. He lay on his hospital trolley and was discussing the fact that he was playing the lead that week in his school production and hopefully he would be able to do it by the end of the week. The Dr looked at me and shook her head behind his trolley…it wouldn’t happen.

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A couple of hours later we were relieved to find that there was no leakage. He was given several stitches and the hospital decided to keep him in for observation. He missed out on his Sunday lunch, so husband had to bring him in a McDonald’s. The next day he was allowed to go home and the local press had found out about his story. If he couldn’t be in his school play he decided he could be on the front page!

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Then he got messages from a magazine and an agency but he never followed either up properly. His story made Get Hampshire, was on the local bill boards, it made the Evening Standard and even made The Sun..although the focus of the story was entirely different!

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I knew we were lucky and agreed with the ambulance man.. someone that night had been looking down on us.