Sheffield Children’s Hospital: Boy, 11, airlifted after horror crash involving quad bike and a trailer

A boy aged 11 had to be airlifted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital after a horror crash involving a quad bike and a trailer.
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Now, the youngster’s father has told how he feared his son would die before help could arrive after the incident unfurled in front of him on a farm in the Peak District.

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He spoke as a fundraising appeal for a new helipad at Sheffield Children’s Hospital moved a step closer thanks to a donation of £562,500.

Freddy Wilton-Patrick was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after an horrific accident involving a quad bike and trailer. He is pictured during treatment at Sheffield Children's HospitalFreddy Wilton-Patrick was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after an horrific accident involving a quad bike and trailer. He is pictured during treatment at Sheffield Children's Hospital
Freddy Wilton-Patrick was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after an horrific accident involving a quad bike and trailer. He is pictured during treatment at Sheffield Children's Hospital
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Youngster Freddy Wilton-Patrick was among those carried by helicopter to the hospital, near Weston Park, Sheffield, on Good Friday this year (April 15), when he became trapped under a trailer in the Peak District.

Freddy, aged 11, was staying on a farm in Edale, Derbyshire with his family. He was enjoying helping out on a farm with his dad and brother Billy, when they were being towed in a trailer by a quadbike.

Dad Mark Wilton-Patrick said: “The ball hitch became disconnected, which caused the trailer to career out of control. It hit the verge and twisted – I was thrown clear and the boys were hit and trapped by the trailer.

“I was injured in the head and in shock. I got up from where I had been thrown and a motorcyclist stopped immediately and I asked him to get the car driver behind to call an ambulance. The trailer had fallen onto Freddy and Billy, so I lifted it off them.

Mum Liz Wilton-Patrick and Freddy Wilton-Patrick, who was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after a serious accidentMum Liz Wilton-Patrick and Freddy Wilton-Patrick, who was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after a serious accident
Mum Liz Wilton-Patrick and Freddy Wilton-Patrick, who was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after a serious accident

‘I was very worried that Freddy might die at the scene’

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“I was very worried that Freddy might die at the scene, he was very badly injured and I lifted the trailer off his neck. I spoke to Freddy and he was speaking gibberish, it was terrifying.”

Fortunately, a doctor arrived quickly and was supported by other medical professionals who were in the traffic. Given the remote location of the accident, the first road ambulance took 25 minutes to arrive. An air ambulance arrived to transfer Freddy to Sheffield Children’s.

Currently, air ambulances land in the public park opposite where critically patients are then transported across the busy A57 under a police escort before entering the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s.

Freddy Wilton-Patrick during his recovery after he was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after a serious accidentFreddy Wilton-Patrick during his recovery after he was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after a serious accident
Freddy Wilton-Patrick during his recovery after he was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital after a serious accident

Freddy’s mum Liz Wilton-Patrick adds: “I walked across to the park a few times during our stay and did wonder at how busy it was and how it was far from ideal to have to cross with a stretcher. No-one ever thinks it will happen to them until it does.

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“Had there been any delay, it could have had devastating consequences. The minutes saved by having direct access from the helicopter landing could save lives.”

Once Freddy arrived at the Emergency Department, he underwent x-rays, blood tests, a blood transfusion and was also given pain relief, oxygen to help him breathe and tranexamic acid, which is a drug to help stop any internal bleeding.

Pictured making a donation towards an appeal for a helipad at Sheffield Children's Hospital are, L-R Stephen Brunyee (Head of Capital Works at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Peter Knowles (Estates Director at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Dave Threlfall (Management Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Ruth Brown (Chief Executive, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Robert Bertram, Dr Rachel Tricks, (Clinical Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Hannah Keable, Major Trauma and Rehabilitation Coordinator at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), John Armstrong (Chief Executive Officer, The Children’s Hospital Charity).Pictured making a donation towards an appeal for a helipad at Sheffield Children's Hospital are, L-R Stephen Brunyee (Head of Capital Works at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Peter Knowles (Estates Director at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Dave Threlfall (Management Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Ruth Brown (Chief Executive, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Robert Bertram, Dr Rachel Tricks, (Clinical Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Hannah Keable, Major Trauma and Rehabilitation Coordinator at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), John Armstrong (Chief Executive Officer, The Children’s Hospital Charity).
Pictured making a donation towards an appeal for a helipad at Sheffield Children's Hospital are, L-R Stephen Brunyee (Head of Capital Works at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Peter Knowles (Estates Director at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Dave Threlfall (Management Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Ruth Brown (Chief Executive, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Robert Bertram, Dr Rachel Tricks, (Clinical Lead for Major Trauma at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), Hannah Keable, Major Trauma and Rehabilitation Coordinator at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust), John Armstrong (Chief Executive Officer, The Children’s Hospital Charity).

He was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where he spent the next 18 hours. Although he suffered few visible injuries, internally x-rays revealed that Freddy had suffered severe lacerations to his liver and kidney, as well as abdominal injuries. He was moved the next day to Ward 1, where he spent the next 11 days in recovery at Sheffield Children’s.

Mum Liz continues: “Freddy had been doing really well with the care of the nurses and the physio team. The last morning, he was up and playing PlayStation with the boy in the bed next to him. He started to deteriorate that afternoon and fortunately as the nurses knew him well, they could also see that was not right.

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“Following an emergency ultrasound and an MRI, he ended up with a NG tube being inserted and we were rushed by ambulance to Leeds at 3am the next morning. We left abruptly and were sad not to thank everyone personally who had looked after us.”

His stay in Leeds lasted another 42 days, which involved having two abdominal drains inserted, as well as contracting line sepsis and an infection in fluid gathering in his lung. A chest drain finally resolved the problem, after which Freddy was soon able to go home.

Freddy is back to his old self now, enjoying showing off his ‘cool’ scars to anyone who will listen. He has recently started secondary school and spends his time hanging out with friends, playing Lego, making YouTube videos and playing Minecraft.

Mum Liz said: “We look back on the experience as pretty ‘epic’. Due to the wonderful care and support of the staff we encountered, we feel we made the best of the experience and made something bad into something that we will remember in a positive light.

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“We’d like to say a massive and heartfelt thank you to everyone we interacted with, when you spend a long time in hospital, you are in a bubble and you get to know the staff really well. It really does become a bit like a family, and strange as it sounds, we have many fond memories and do reminisce about it.

“I couldn’t fault anything about the care we received, and I feel blessed that Freddy was looked after by such wonderful people.”

The HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to providing significant grants to fund life-saving helipads at Major Trauma Centres and A&E hospitals across the country, has just donated £562500 towards the cost of a helipad at the Children’s.

They have now presented their final instalment to support the project, which takes the total donated to The Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal to more than £2.8M.

Overall, more than £4m has now been raised towards the £6m project. It is hoped with support from the public that construction can begin in 2023.

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Robert Bertram, chief executive, HELP Appeal, said: “Having a rooftop helipad situated above the Emergency Department at this Major Trauma Centre will be a game changer.”

"A new helipad will provide dignity for patients and quick access to the specialist care they need, instead of relying on good weather for landing in the park opposite. Helipads can and do save lives.”

How to support Sheffield Children’s Hospital helipad appeal

The helipad will support the journeys of young patients who require urgent critical care as soon as possible from across South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

John Armstrong, chief executive, The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “As Freddy’s powerful story shows, the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s provides outstanding critical care for patients across the region.”

“By funding this new Helipad, together we can ensure children can access that treatment as quickly as possible with dignity, and we are so grateful to Robert and the HELP Appeal for their incredibly generous donation today which makes our dream one step closer to reality.”

To support the appeal to build a new helipad at Sheffield Children’s, visit: www.tchc.org.uk