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Mum’s warning after two-year-old left with gaping hole in head – when plastic slide in garden toppled

A mum has issued a warning after her toddler was left with a huge hole in her head – when a plastic slide in her back garden toppled and she smashed her skull on a paving slab.

Ava Wilkinson, from Preston, Lancs, was playing on her slide on Monday afternoon [July 23] when it toppled over on an uneven paving stone, sending her crashing to the ground.

And Ava’s mother, Laura Cook, 29, said she feared for her daughter’s life after seeing pools of blood and a massive hole in her forehead that left the toddler’s skull exposed.


Stay-at-home mum-of-two Laura said: “Ava’s dad, Darren, was cutting the grass and had moved all the toys, including the slide, onto the patio.

“There were some uneven paving slabs on patio and when Ava got onto the slide it toppled over and she smashed her head on the stones.

“I just heard this almighty scream. Darren reached her first and there was blood everywhere.

“He was crying his eyes out and I started to panic but I didn’t want to get upset in front of Ava.

“It all happened at once and I didn’t know what to do.


“You could see her skull through the hole in her head and I knew it was bad.

“We wrapped a tea towel around her head to try and stop the blood but she started getting drowsy.

“I tried to keep her awake because I knew if she lost consciousness then it would be difficult to wake her up.

“My worst fear was that her skull had cracked and the hole had gone deeper, affecting her brain.”

Ava’s dad, Darren Wilkinson, 40, a furniture up-cycler, immediately phoned an ambulance and within 15 minutes paramedics arrived at their Preston home to assess the little girl’s injury.


Deciding that the hole was too big to treat at the scene, paramedics called the North West Air Ambulance Service to take Ava to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, some 40 miles away.

Laura said that if it wasn’t for the quick responses of NHS Ambulance staff, her daughter could’ve been left with a fractured skull, brain damage, or worse.

Doctors took Ava in for surgery the following morning (Tuesday), where she was given general anaesthetic so they could operate.

Luckily, the wound only required stitches but staff at the Liverpool hospital said the two year old would be left with a huge scar which may need cosmetic surgery later down the line.

Ava was allowed to go home on Tuesday afternoon and Laura said her daughter is now on the mend.

The mum said: “The staff in the helicopter were brilliant; they kept Ava awake all the way to the hospital by playing with her and letting her mess around with their visors in order to distract her from the pain.

“And when we got to Alder Hey there were a team of nurses and doctors waiting for us; they rushed Ava into the emergency room straight away.

“Had it not been for the quick reactions of all the NHS staff involved I dread to think what would have happened to Ava.

“We are so lucky in this country to have the NHS; other countries don’t have the resources available to them that we have.

“Ava’s been so brave throughout all of this and I’m so thankful for how the NHS staff helped her; they were brilliant from start to finish; I honestly can’t thank them enough.”

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