A Dundee mum has relived the horror of a happy family day out which ended with her two little boys fighting for their lives and her young cousin dead.
Sheree Birse, 31, said she never would have believed the nightmare that lay ahead after she waved her sons Carson Kelly, nine, and Calvin Kelly, five, off for a day’s sledging with her cousins, Lee and Reece Tucker, on January 3.
The car the family were travelling in was involved in an accident, seriously injuring both the children. Reece died at the scene.
The boys, although both now recovering, have still to be told about Reece’s death that day.
Sheree said she will always be eternally grateful to everyone who ensured her sons lived through the horror.
Sheree said: “Our boys were super excited to be going out for the day with two of my cousins, Lee and Reece Tucker.
“They were taking the boys up to Glenshee sledging and I couldn’t say no as their faces just lit up when they were told they were getting a small day out.
“Little did I know then that this wasn’t going to be just a small day out.”
Sheree said that only four hours later she got a phone call with the terrible news.
She said: “The boys’ dad Andy Kelly and my dad raced up to the scene that had been blocked off by the fire brigade, police and ambulances.
“Andy and I then had a call explaining our boys both had to be put into induced comas and were both fighting for their lives.”
‘The whole thing was horrific’
Sheree said the boys were flown by helicopter to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.
She said: “Andy and I drove to Glasgow from Dundee and still had to wait another 45 minutes for our boys to land.
“Eventually we met with two doctors who explained what was needing to be done to save our boys .
“Carson seemed to have been a lot worse off and had to receive major surgery as soon as possible, to save his head swelling anymore.
“The whole thing was horrific – we didn’t know at that point if our boys were going to make it.
“Initially we believed that they only had a few bumps to the head and then we couldn’t believe what we were hearing.”
Sheree and Andy were allowed to see Carson and give him a kiss before he went into surgery.
Afterwards, the boys continued to sleep for a few days with her and their dad keeping a constant bedside vigil.
‘Eventually our boys woke up’
As the days wore on, the boys were slowly weaned off the machines helping them breathe.
Sheree said: “Eventually our boys woke up slowly. We both felt so lucky.”
She said that after two weeks Calvin was allowed to come home to Dundee to stay with grandparents while she and Andy remained at Carson’s bedside in Glasgow.
She added: “We stayed by Carson’s side still as he was having a very difficult time.
“He needed us so much at that time and was to have another operation to his head in two weeks later.
“He is our first born and (an) amazing boy, generous and wouldn’t even say boo to a fly. He didn’t deserve any of this – none of them did.”
Sheree said that six weeks after the accident Carson was moved back home to Ninewells for the rest of his recovery and rehabilitation.
She added: “We still pray for Carson’s full recovery every morning and night.”
Thanks for emergency services and health staff
The family have thanked the people who cared for Carson and Calvin.
“Andy and I would like to thank everyone from the scene that night,” Sheree said.
“The two nurses and two doctors who came and everyone who collected blankets, coats anything to keep my boys warm.
“I have now met with the nurse who was first on the scene and we feel like the luckiest mum and dad in the world knowing people had comforted and helped save our sons.
“We thank every single team in Glasgow from the bottom of our hearts.
“Andy and I continue to thank friends and everyone for all the support.”