“If it wasn’t for them, Kye may not be here today"
Five-year-old Kye Sharrad was feeding a horse at his grandfather’s stable when the animal suddenly turned, knocking Kye, who then struck his head on the concrete ground. At first he felt fine, worrying only about a couple of grazes on his elbow.
During the next couple of days Kye started to feel sick and his condition deteriorated. He was slipping into a coma so his mother, Kerry, dialled the new NHS 111 service and South East Coast Ambulance Service paramedics were immediately dispatched to the family home in Harrietsham.
Kye had ruptured or bruised a blood vessel in his skull in what is medically known as an extradural haematoma, and the blood had built up over two days. The pressure was starving his brain of oxygen. The land paramedics knew that time was crucial and Kye not only needed advanced pre-hospital care but it was critical that he underwent surgery to relieve the potentially fatal swelling.
The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance was called and Captain Blaine Ashurst delivered Dr Steph Tilston and Critical Care Paramedic, Jez Loseby to the scene in just nine minutes. They immediately assessed Kye, then administered an emergency anaesthetic and a hypertonic saline to reduce the swelling to Kye’s brain. He was intubated, allowing his breathing to be controlled and managed, giving Blaine and the crew enough time to transfer Kye to The Royal London Hospital major trauma centre in just twelve minutes.
Three days after an emergency operation where surgeons drilled through his skull to relieve the pressure and repair the damaged blood vessel, Kye was back at home playing with his Lego. And three weeks later he was reunited with Steph and Jez at the air ambulance base in Marden. In a Thank You card, he wrote: “To all the air ambulance crew (heroes), thank you for getting me to the hospital so quickly and helping save me.”
Kye’s mum Kerry said, “If it wasn’t for them, Kye may not be here today and I will think of them all every day for saving him.”