"On Monday, March 21st, 2016 my 10-year-old son, Jaden, was riding his bike without a helmet. While riding his bike, he fell off scrapping up his elbow and knee. When he was asked if anything else hurt, his only complaints where his elbow and knee. He showed no signs of trauma and continued about his day.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning March 23rd, 2016. Jaden woke up complaining of a headache and seemed very lethargic, which was not his normal self at all. All Jaden wanted to do was lay down and didn't want to eat anything. After looking at Jaden you could see swelling around his right temple. The spot on his temple was not hard, more like really squishy.
I decided to take him to the hospital. The moment I had Jaden in the car he started vomiting. Once Jaden arrived at Saint Mary's Children's hospital, a CT scan was done. The diagnosis was right temporal fracture of the skull and right temporal epidural hematoma. The doctors explained to me that my son needed emergency surgery within the hour to try and save his life. The chances of him making it were 50/50.
Jaden underwent surgery and once they were in, they found the damage to be extensive. They performed a right frontotemporal craniotomy, removal of the epidural hematoma and had to place a wire mesh cranioplasty on his skull. The surgery was only supposed to take 1 1/2 hours, Jaden was in surgery for 2 1/2 hours.
We were told by the surgeon and other doctors that it was a miracle he survived. All other cases, the kids never came out of surgery. On April 5th, 2016 Jaden turned 11 with almost no permanent damage or disability. My family and I would like to thank the Trauma Surgical Team and PICU at Saint Mary's Children's Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I am telling you this in hopes to raise awareness for all children and adults about why you need to wear a helmet. Help others be aware of the dangers of riding without the proper safety equipment. This can happen to anyone! The injuries my son had were equal to those in a motorcycle accident!"
An argument for mandatory helmets: Children are especially susceptible as new riders. According to one study, more than 1,800 children were in bicycle accidents between 2002 and 2012 - around 30 children per year die from accidents and 30% of injuries are head injuries.
Jaden's accident and recovery should be a warning to all parents that they shouldn't let their children ride without helmets. Adults should set a good example and wear them too, even if you're a little more confident on your bike and can't stand the bulky helmet. Help this mom protect children from head injuries by sharing this message.