Saturday was the day of the school fair. The children were over-excited by bouncy castles and huge slabs of chocolate cake. I won a bottle of red wine (yay!) Then we headed home.
Ahead of us were a group of teenage boys, shouting and swearing. My heart sank a little.
Matthew was running alongside us on the grass and looked behind him. Everyday I nag him to walk and be aware of his surroundings. Today I was proved right. But I would give anything not to have been.
Looking backwards, he tripped and fell against a wooden post. I couldn’t see what had happened at first but he was howling as he does for everything from a tiny graze to a massive injury 🙁 One of the teenagers said ‘oh shit’ and I guessed it wasn’t good…
Blood was pumping from a wound just above his eye. I sat him down and held his cut shut with my hand. I had used my last tissue at the fair to wipe up chocolate cake so had nothing with me to stem the bleed. The teens were looking on and I asked then if they had any tissue but they didn’t. Anya was getting hysterical at the sight of the blood pooling in my hand, Zach had no idea what was going on. Chris ran over the road to the row of shops to get tissue.
Meanwhile one of the teenagers ran back. He had raced to the nearest building (a pub) and grabbed paper towels. A woman came with him and offered to get her car to drive us home so that we could get some things and take him to hospital. From across the road, a family arrived with wet wipes and a first aid kit.
Everything had calmed down. Everyone had helped. It was amazing. The humanity of strangers was truly incredible, and I cannot thank them enough.
We accepted the lift home and I called my mum straightaway to take care of Anya and Zach while Chris took me and Matthew to A&E. We had a half hour wait to be assessed and then a further 2 hours to be treated.
Yes, the wait was frustrating. Yes, it was boring. But Matthew was treated with respect and professionalism. His wound was carefully glued back together after some serious consideration of whether it was deep enough to need actual stitches.
The NHS is a fantastic thing. The staff are dedicated and caring. The car park charge is extortionate and a disgrace 🙁
The cut looks like it will heal well. I thank God it wasn’t an inch lower or he could have lost an eye. I’m writing this 8 hours on from the incident and it is hard to believe how much blood he lost and how awful the whole thing was. I wonder if there will still be blood on the floor when we do the school run on Monday. It looked like I was wearing red gloves, my ring is still crusted with blood. Putting pressure on the wound was essential to stemming the blood flow (thanks to my dental nurse training 15 years ago plus years of watching BBC’s Casualty and Holby City!!!) but the kindness of strangers is the real thing that I will take from today.
People going out of their way to help. Teenagers, who I judged for swearing and being rowdy, had hearts of gold. Strangers willing to give up their time to help a small child in need. Dedicated NHS staff who have an amazing vocation to help others.
So, thank you. THANK YOU.
Matthew will be left with a scar but the hope and love from today will last a lifetime too.