A Dundee mum has described the “worst day of her life” watching her five-year-old son being airlifted to hospital after smashing his head on a rock.
Jackson Meade fell while on holiday in the Lake District, hitting his head on the way down.
Mum Maureen Meade cradled her son waiting on paramedics then watched helplessly as he was flown to the major trauma centre in Newcastle, as coronavirus restrictions meant she was not allowed to board the helicopter with him.
They had been on a family day out at Rydal Caves on July 12 when Jackson slipped and had to be rescued by the Great North Air Ambulance.
He has now made a full recovery but doctors initially thought he had bleeding on the brain.
Maureen said: “It was definitely the worst day of my life.
“He fell right in front of me and landed on his head. I caught him but he landed on his head then tumbled on to his back.
“He was pretty much unconscious, he was just making sounds in my arms but not much.
“We called the paramedics and when he was put on the stretcher he completely lost consciousness.
“Every so often he would wake up and it was very traumatic, he was just screaming.
“We had to watch the helicopter fly away and drive to Newcastle not knowing what we would be arriving to.”
Maureen and her family waited for hours to find out Jackson’s fate. In the middle of the night she got the news that he had pulled through with just stitches to a two-inch gash on his head and minor liver damage.
“At around 2am I called the hospital and they were trying to call me at the same time.
“They said he had stitches in his head and there wasn’t any brain trauma so he would make a full recovery.”
The family travelled home last Thursday with an extra passenger as the air ambulance crew gave Jackson a keepsake to take home.
Maureen said: “We had one day left of our holiday when he got out of hospital but we were just happy to get everyone home in one piece.
“The rescue team put a little teddy bear in his bag which I didn’t find until the next day.
“I gave it to him in the morning when he came round and he was more interested in the bear than anything else.
“He was gutted that he didn’t get to see the helicopter but we have shown him pictures.”
Jackson is now back to his old self at home and the family have joked that it may have been his curls which protected his head as he hasn’t had a haircut since before lockdown.
“Jackson is a real adventurer,” said Maureen.
“He is always on his bike but is very steady on his feet and has never been to hospital before.
“I always knew his first accident would be a big one but I didn’t expect him to be airlifted.
“He has made a full recovery and his back to himself, it has shown me how resilient children are.”
Maureen has also thanked the charity-run air ambulance team and said she plans to continue to show her gratitude.
“We are continuing to support the helicopter because we can’t believe it is all run by volunteers and donations,” she said.
“They were so professional, supportive and compassionate. I’m just so happy that they were so attentive and saved my son.”