It was February half-term and 14-year-old Joe left home for a party with friends from school. A couple of hours later, his mum got a call to say he had been found unconscious.
“Joe had gone to meet friends. He was supposed to be going to McDonalds. I later found out that plans had changed and he’d ended up getting a bus to the house of a boy I didn’t know. Things got out of hand and Joe was pushed. He hit his head just outside the front of the house and was found later by a passer-by,” explains Kate.
When Joe was found he was drifting in and out of consciousness. He had a large lump on his head and it was unclear exactly what had happened to him. The first paramedic on the scene thought he may have been hit by a car or fallen out of a window and so London’s Air Ambulance was quickly called to scene.
Once the London’s Air Ambulance team arrived they intubated Joe to assist his breathing and prevent any potential brain damage. He was then taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he received further care and was tested to find out the extent of his injuries.
“When Joe woke up he just had minor injuries. His wrist was sprained, but there was nothing more serious than that. He surprised everyone. All the doctors and nurses thought he was going to wake up in a much worse state than that,” says Kate.
“I can’t even describe how it feels when I see London’s Air Ambulance now. The charity was in the press a lot after the Westminster attack and that really brought home how amazing the team is. Knowing they can be by your child’s side should the worst happen is reassuring. It feels so much more personal now that we have first-hand experience of how they work and how brilliant they are.
“Our family recently visited the helipad and met Anthony and Flora, the doctors who treated Joe. I hadn’t expected to feel quite so emotional, but as soon as they walked in the room I burst out crying. We never expected someone to be in touch after the accident – that was really amazing – and Joe doesn’t remember anything so it was really helpful for him to be able to meet the doctors and ask questions.
“Now my other children, Zac and Alice, want to raise some money for the charity. They’re hoping to do some cake sales at school and Alice often does sponsored events at gymnastics, so wants to do one for London’s Air Ambulance.”