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An awful accident

Elaine’s day started off pretty much like any other. Her two children (21 months and 9 months) were going away for an overnight stay. Elaine had set out their clothes all ready for the day and ran them a bath.

Tyler, the youngest, had a bath seat. Elaine stuck this down to the bath using the attached suction cups. As she went to get them out of the bath, Elaine realised she had left their towels in their bedroom, right next door. In a matter of seconds Elaine had popped to fetch the towels.

Disaster Struck

That’s all it took though. Seconds.

“When I went back into the bathroom both Tyler and the bath chair were floating in the bath” Elaine told us, the memory clearly haunting. “All I could do was scream and cry as I pulled him from the water, he wasn’t breathing and was just floppy”.

In sheer panic Elaine’s first reaction was to run to her neighbours. There was no answer. Then it clicked – Elaine called 999.

Little Tyler lay on the bedroom floor whilst receiving CPR from his panic stricken mother. The 999 team talking her through what she needed to do.

Elaine recalled the moment “I felt so helpless as I couldn’t get his mouth open like they were asking me to but I could hear he was gurgling. I had a bit of relief knowing I had managed to get him breathing again. It felt like I was waiting a lifetime for paramedics to arrive but when they did I stood back and let them take over”.

Help for Tyler

The paramedic who arrived was a close family friend, called Jim. It wasn’t until he turned to ask Elaine a question that he realised who she or her son were. The fact that someone so close to the family was taking care of her son helped Elaine feel a little at ease. Tyler was whisked away to hospital.

At this point two police officers took Elaine’s daughter to her aunties and another two officers drove Elaine to the hospital. Elaine saw them taping off her front door “I was told they had to do this in case they had to do an investigation if he passed away. I cried the whole way to the hospital”.

On arrival at the hospital Elaine was taken to a room where the police questioned her. “I felt sick as not once did that ever cross my mind and it made me feel like they thought I had hurt him on purpose which couldn’t be any further from the truth” Elaine told us, remembering how all she wanted was to be with her son.

Once the police had finished their questions, Jim the paramedic came to get Elaine and explained how he had asked his boss if he could stay with her for support until a family member came, which he did.

Jim took Elaine to the room where Tyler was lying on a hospital bed and explained absolutely everything to her. “I felt like my world was ending. I was told he would have to be transferred to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital but that I couldn’t travel with him as there was no space for me in the ambulance” said Elaine.

Desperate to be with her son

The thought of separation again was almost too much “This absolutely broke me I felt like I was being torn away from him again when all I wanted was to be there to tell him everything was going to be okay” explained Elaine.

Thankfully Elaine’s best friends came to her rescue and drove her to Glasgow straight away. When they arrived at the hospital it was a waiting game again, which seemed to take forever.

Finally, someone came to take Elaine to her son “When I entered the room and saw him I didn’t know what to do, he was lying so lifeless with wires and tubes everywhere. I couldn’t stop thinking that I had done this to him. I still to this day beat myself up about it”.

A nurse asked Elaine where she was staying for the night. “I hadn’t even thought about going anywhere other than by his bedside”. This is when Elaine first heard about Ronald McDonald House Glasgow.

The comfort of somewhere close by to sleep

There was a room available at the House. “It brought me so much comfort as I don’t think I would have coped being so far way from him… I didn’t even know if I would have been able to afford the travel expenses every day” explained Elaine.

The House staff did all they could to help Elaine settle in. “All of the staff at the House were so supportive and friendly and put me at ease straight away”.

Tyler’s time in hospital

Tyler was in an induced coma for one week. The day he came off his ventilator “He was a dream, he was an absolute champ and thankfully had no health issues or brain damage” Elaine told us.

After an extra few days in the hospital Tyler was given a clean bill of health and could go home.

Elaine finished by telling us “He made an amazing recovery and I can’t thank all the staff enough for everything. Now he is a big healthy 9 year old boy who is an absolute dream”.

The Silent Killer

Drowning happens silently. It happens extremely quickly. Thankfully Tyler made a full recovery and fatal infant drownings are relatively low in the UK but they do happen.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust has a dedicated webpage for information about how to avoid the risk of drowning. Remember – babies and small children mostly drown at home in the bath or in the garden, in just a few centimetres of water.

We thank Elaine for being brave enough to share her story. It takes real courage to share events like these. Elaine has done so in a hope that it will raise awareness and help other parents. Everyone at the House is sincerely thankful and we wish Elaine, Tyler and the rest of the family a very happy future.

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