Mum’s plea for kids to wear helmets after son, 11, fractured skull after 5ft skate ramp plunge
By Bethany Gleave
A mum has released shocking images of her son recovering from brain surgery after falling from his BMX without wearing his helmet and fracturing his skull.
Samuel Jefferies, 11, plummeted from the 5ft-high skate ramp earlier this month and needed three hours of surgery to remove a section of his skull and replace it with a titanium plate – leaving him with a six-inch scar.
The schoolboy wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the after-school accident as he forgot to take it with him that morning.
His distressed mum Dawn Jefferies, 40, is now urging all cyclists to take road safety seriously and wear helmets when riding bikes and scooters.
Dawn from Bristol, said: “I just thought nothing of it when I let him go to the park. I felt happy with him going and I just told him to be home for tea.
“He does have a helmet but he went straight there from school and he had forgotten it in the morning.
“I should’ve made sure he had it but sometimes these things slip your mind.
“Later that day I had a phone call from his school as a parent who was with Samuel asked them to call me.
“It’s your worst nightmare as a parent, as soon as I heard the word ‘ambulance’ I panicked.
“When I got there Samuel had regained consciousness but he was in so much pain. It was heart-breaking to see him like that and so hurt.”
Samuel was rushed to Bristol Children’s Hospital on May 8 and operated on two days later.
He remained in hospital for nearly a week and was discharged on May 14.
Office manager Dawn, who is also mum to Samuel’s eight-year-old sister Emma, said: “He had a few scans and we were told he had a fractured skull and a bleed and he was admitted to the high dependency unit for observation.
“He had a scan the next day and the day after. It was then that they decided it would be in his best interests for him to have brain surgery to relieve the pressure.
“His dad took him down for the operation, I was just pacing the corridor.
“He was in there for three hours, but it felt like a lifetime. We just didn’t know whether he was going to come out of it.
“During the operation they found that there was a second bleed which wasn’t picked up on the scans because of its position.
“When he woke up he was just relieved that he didn’t have the headache that he had for a few days.
“The doctors asked if he wanted to see the scar. He said he didn’t but when we had all left he took a picture to see what it looks like.
“Luckily his hair will cover most of it when he’s older. It’s really big.”
Samuel had made his usual trip to Southey Park in Kingswood, Bristol, with his friends after school on May 8 but rode without his helmet after accidentally leaving it at home.
While riding his BMX up the ramps Samuel slipped and fell off the corner of the 5ft-high structure, hitting his head during the fall which knocked him unconscious.
His frantic mum rushed to the park and found him lying on the ground in extreme pain before he was taken to hospital.
Now recovering at home Samuel, a keen cross-country runner, has been left upset after being told he can’t take part in any sports for at least six months.
Dawn said: “He just has to rest now for six months which means no more bikes, football, running or going on the trampoline.
“He has had to give up his cross-country running which he was really upset about as he absolutely loves doing it.
“Samuel is pretty happy though as he has missed his SATs because he has to reduce the time he is at school.
“He has different moments of being happy or sad. One day he looked out of the window and he said, ‘I might die’.
“It is just heart-breaking as a mum. No one should hear their son talk like that and then I also have to stop him from doing all the things he loves to do.
“He will not forget his helmet when he goes back, I might wrap him in bubble wrap too.”
Since Samuel’s accident Dawn has set up a petition to try and make it a legal requirement for anyone using a bike or scooter to wear a helmet.
Dawn said: “We are petitioning to try and make it a legal requirement for helmets to be worn.
“If you are in a car you must wear a seat belt and if you are on a motorbike you have to wear a helmet.
“So why is it any different on a bike or scooter?
“There are so many bikes on the road and they should be wearing helmets.
“If everyone wore one it wouldn’t be made to seem uncool anymore.
“I have had a lot of support. I just think if I can stop one person from injuring themselves like Samuel or worse I will be happy.”
Dawn’s petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-cycle-helmet-law
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