Boy (11) reunited with air ambulance crew who saved his life in farming accident
A boy who was seriously hurt in a farm accident met the heroes who came to his aid as he helped to officially launch Northern Ireland's air ambulance.
Conor McMullan was working on his family's beef and sheep farm in Castlewellan, Co Down, helping his sister with machinery, when the accident occurred on July 22.
A tractor reversed, crushing Conor so badly it fractured his skull and left him fighting for his life. At the same time, in Lisburn, the air ambulance crew had been preparing for the service's launch when the call came through.
They were able to fly Conor from the farm to Belfast in just eight minutes, shaving half an hour off the response time and saving the boy's life.
Conor's father, John, said: "It's inevitable that it's going to happen somewhere - you get so many near-misses in farming and we've had many. We are calling this a near-miss too, although it's that bit closer than you'd ever want it to be.
"I think everyone in the farming community knows the risks, but from a very young age we all get involved. You know the dangers and do your best to avoid them, but things can still happen. The road network near us is very poor - it takes at least 45 minutes to get to Belfast.
"It was a typical Saturday. Conor and his sister were working with a piece of machinery. She was driving the tractor and Conor was trying to help her hook it off, but he became jammed between the equipment and the wall of the shed that they were in.
"He sustained a fracture to the right side of his head and as a result lost consciousness. It really could have been a fatal accident, but this has helped to get him into the hands of the care that he needed - he's a very, very lucky boy.