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Medics praised by teen accident victim

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Medics praised by teen accident victim

A TEENAGE boy has been reunited with the medics that saved his life last year.

Callum McDougall, 15, was riding a quad bike while working on a game shooting estate in Kirkcudbright on July 2 last year when he was involved in an accident.

He doesn’t remember the accident but can recall everything leading up to it and said: “I was working on the estate and bringing in the drinkers to wash them, so the pheasants could have a drink. I remember spinning round on the quad bike and then I was out.”

Callum’s mum, Amy Woodrow, had dropped her son off at work earlier that day and was at home when she spotted the helicopter from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

She said: “I was tidying the house and I was just about to put the last of my rubbish out in the wheelie bin at the front door, and a helicopter flew over the house, which you don’t see many of in our area.

“Within an hour the police came down the path and said, ‘your son has been in an accident’ and it dawned on me that the helicopter was actually for him.”

The nearest air ambulance service was unavailable at the time, so the critical care team from GNAAS, based in Langwathby, Cumbria, flew to the scene, which was on the A711, Mutehill, Kirkcudbright.

They discovered that Callum was seriously injured, as Dr Mark Byers from GNAAS explained: “It was evident that Callum had sustained a significant injury, so to prevent it from getting any worse, we put him in a medically induced coma on the roadside. This can only be safely performed outside of a hospital by a doctor and critical care paramedic.

“We then flew him to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, from where he was then transferred to the Royal Hospital for Children.”

INJURED . . . Callum McDougall fighting for his life in hospital

Callum had suffered a traumatic brain injury and the following day he underwent a decompressive craniotomy, a procedure which involves removing part of the skull to reduce the pressure on his brain.

He initially spent two months in hospital, but unfortunately, the removed bone got infected during this time, so instead of being reattached to his skull, he recently had a titanium plate fitted in his head. He also sustained an injury to his leg, a spinal fracture, partial hearing loss and lost his sense of smell.

Now Callum is back on his feet and has visited the GNAAS’ base and met the critical care team who came to his aid. Amy said: “I’m so pleased we got to meet and shake the hands of the men that got Callum to hospital. They were so modest and unassuming in regards to the crucial part they played on the day, and in Callum’s words ‘just brilliant’.”

Dr Mark added: “It was great to see Callum doing so well and hear that the incident hasn’t put him off riding quad bikes. I just hope the next time he gets on one he puts his safety first and remembers to wear a helmet.”

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