Family praise air ambulance crew after son's freak accident

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:03 20 January 2017

Harry Tansley and his brother Ben. Harry was happy to be reunited with his trainers, which had been left in the helicopter

Harry Tansley and his brother Ben. Harry was happy to be reunited with his trainers, which had been left in the helicopter

Archant

A family has publicly thanked Devon Air Ambulance paramedics for saving their eight-year-old son's life after his scooter tore his windpipe in a freak accident on Exmouth seafront.

Harry Tansley, from Exeter, had been days away from Christmas when, during a family day out to Exmouth, with his older brother, Ben, their dad, and a friend, he lost balance on his scooter and fell.

As the youngster toppled, the scooter caught his throat. The effect was immediate; Harry had a tear in his windpipe causing air to form under his skin with every breath he took.

The emergency services were called and Harry was treated at the scene before being flown by air ambulance on a 30-minute journey to Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Harry’s family praised the emergency services for the care and speed at which the youngster was treated.

His mum, Justine, said the outcome ‘could have been so different’, adding: “We are just so grateful to everyone who helped Harry.”

She said: “My husband and I have decided that we are going to run a half marathon this year to raise funds for Devon Air Ambulance, so that the service remains available to help others when they need it.

“We can’t thank them all enough.”

Paramedic John Shaddick said “When we arrived, Harry looked like an eight-year-old body builder. He was swollen from his head to him groin.”

Treating Harry in the back of the land ambulance, medics administered an anaesthetic and a tube was inserted to stop Harry’s throat swelling shut and to keep him breathing.

Harry was flown in the air ambulance to Bristol where his care was taken over by specialist doctors at the children’s hospital.

Harry’s family said they were ‘impressed’ by the time the helicopter took to reach the hospital.

His dad said: “It would have taken so much longer by road. I was so grateful that Harry was in such good hands en-route and that we got from Exmouth to Bristol in just 30 minutes.”

Harry was woken from an induced coma on Christmas Eve.

Medics told his relieved family the youngster’s windpipe had healed and did not require surgery.

He was discharged from hospital the following day.

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