Dylan Kneebone

Airlifted Date: 
22 September 2014
Airlifted From: 
Near Redruth
Nature of Incident: 
Crushed by vehicle

It’s hard to believe that just 5 weeks before this picture was taken, Dylan’s parents were told to prepare for the worst.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd September, the emergency phone rang at the Cornwall Air Ambulance base. 7 year old boy. Crushed by horse box. Rural area near Redruth.

Paramedics Mick and Mark, and Captain Craig, know in a situation like this, every second counts.

Within three minutes the helicopter was speeding to the scene at 120mph, arriving in just ten minutes.

Dylan had fallen beneath a loaded horse box in a terrible accident. The wheels had run over his neck and chest. A land ambulance was on-scene with their crew keeping Dylan alive, but in this case the speed of the air ambulance was needed.

Paramedic Mark Fuszard recalls the day: “When we got to the scene, little Dylan was in severe respiratory distress. He was very, very frightened and was struggling for every breath.

“One of his lungs had collapsed and we performed a procedure to help re-inflate it. We gave him medication to help stem any internal bleeding and immobilised him in case of spinal injury.

"Just ten minutes after arriving we took off for hospital.

"On the way Dylan was going downhill fast. We arrvied at Treliske within just four minutes and there was a whole paediatric team waiting for Dylan.”

After Dylan was stabilised, a scan revealed that not only did he have one collapsed lung, but also a bronchial tear on the other. Essentially, the windpipe had detached from the lung. Dylan’s injuries were so unusual that only a handful of surgeons have ever performed the procedure he needed, so he was transferred to the specialist children’s unit at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Dylan was kept in an induced coma in Bristol for a week, before being transferred back to Treliske to be closer to his family.

Mark recalls: “They woke him up on the Saturday. On the Thursday, Mick and I were on duty again and took a patient in to Treliske. Suddenly a little boy approached the helipad with a nurse. Mick thought he had just come to have a look at the helicopter until he said ‘Hi, I’m Dylan,’ with a huge smile on his face.

“It took us both totally by suprise. There was no way this could be the little lad who was fighting for his life just three weeks earlier.

“I told him he was a hero and asked him what his secret was. ‘Fish fingers and squash’ came his reply. It brought a tear to our eyes and made us realise the whole team had made a massive difference not only to Dylan, but to his mum, dad and little sister. To his whole family. It was a very humbling moment.”

Dylan, his sister Kyrie, Mum Linsey and Dad Les came to see the crew at our airbase just 5 weeks after the accident.

Les said: “Without Cornwall Air Ambulance Dylan would not have survived. You saved our son’s life. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”