Monday 23 July 2018

'It’s every parent’s worst nightmare' - Mother tells how son (6) almost lost leg in lawnmower accident

Yvonne Chadwick thanks Air Corps team who saved her son's leg

Gavin Chadwick (6)
Gavin Chadwick (6)

Cillian Sherlock

A mother has told how her six-year-old son almost lost his leg when he was injured in a lawnmower accident at their home.

Yvonne Chadwick, from Moneygall Co Offaly told that her son Gavin lost a critical amount of blood but was transported to hospital by the Air Corps in just 16 minutes, when it would have taken almost two hours by ambulance.

“They thought he may not walk or run again. He’s made a miraculous recovery,” his mother Yvonne Chadwick said.

“On the 1st of May this year Gavin had a very nasty accident. Daddy was out cutting the lawns on a ride-on lawnmower and in the blink of an eye he ran out across the lawn to show Daddy his new shorts. Daddy was reversing and Gavin’s leg got stuck underneath it,” Yvonne explained.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s absolutely horrific. It’s traumatic and you couldn’t even describe it,” she added.

“We had to call the emergency services and the ambulance got to our house in ten minutes and stopped the bleeding. He was in shock by that time, we all were.

“They decided to ring the air ambulance to bring him to Galway. It was like a blur,” Yvonne said.

“All the emergency services were amazing. We wouldn’t be where we are now if it wasn’t for the Air Corps,” she said.

Gavin lost a lot of muscle, ligaments and parts of his kneecap in the accident but 16 weeks later Gavin was running around and bouncing on the bouncy castles which were set up for the dozens of children in attendance.

“He’s doing really well now,” she added.

There is still some scarring and Gavin is in contact with plastic surgeons and physiotherapists.

“It is a lifetime disfigurement. But from 16 weeks ago he’s made a huge recovery. We thought initially he may lose the leg. Thank god he didn’t,” Yvonne said.

Yvonne wanted to express her thanks to University Hospital Galway staff and to the crew of Air Corps 112 who rescued Gavin.

“Thank you. You were absolutely amazing. Not only did you treat Gavin, you did a fantastic job on him. You calmed us all and were just amazing on the day,” Yvonne said.

Yvonne said the day was amazing and helpful to Gavin to meet other people who had been rescued by helicopter.

“He’s absolutely loving it, it’s a great idea,” she said.

Captain Sean McCarthy of the Irish Air Corps said the day was an effort to celebrate five years of the Emergency Aeromedical Service.

“We have 3,000 missions in those five years and it’s a way of reconnecting the chain of survival,” he said.

“It’s a way of following up with the people we’ve helped out in traumatic situations. Not only for them or us inside the helicopter but also the support and administrative staff that don’t get to see what they do putting a helicopter on a ramp,” Captain McCarthy said.

On average the service goes on three missions every two days, but this can go up to eight missions a day during the summer.

The family day had aircraft on display, barbeques, face painting, weapons display, music and an aircraft museum among other activities.

“We’ve transported kids as young as 10 days old up to people in their nineties. We’ve had the full spectrum of people so we needed to make sure there was something for everyone,” he added

“It’s been brilliant. There’s an instant sort of connection and some funny moments as well. We had a young guy who we transported apologising to a crew member for getting sick in the back of a helicopter,” Captain McCarthy said.

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