Charlie was happily bouncing on a trampoline with one of his friends when the accident happened. It was a spring-free trampoline, with no zips and a net-like roof across the top. The boys were jumping really high, as high as they could to try to touch the roof with their heads.
They succeeded, then Charlie landed awkwardly with his leg underneath him. He came off and started hobbling. The boy’s dad texted me to say his leg was a bit sore, but he still wanted to stay for dinner with his friend really badly, so I let him. When I picked him up later he hopped over to the car. There was no swelling, no obvious bruising or deformity, you couldn’t visibly see that he’d hurt himself.
Charlie was an active boy. | Image source: Supplied
Could he have been putting it on?
We thought he’d be fine, but 24 hours later he still couldn’t walk on it. I took him to the local hospital, and they x-rayed his foot, thinking it might be broken, but it wasn’t. I said “see buddy it’s OK,” but he said he still couldn’t walk on it. He wanted some time off school, and to be honest I thought he might have been putting it on.
Charlie’s 16-year-old sister Taliya is a full-time ballet student, she’s suffered bone stress this year from training on the floor tiles at home, my middle child Jude who is 13, broke his ankle recently, and his best mate also broke a bone. I thought Charlie may have been trying to be part of the club.
Charlie in hospital after sustaining trampoline injuries. | Image source: Supplied
He had a chip on his bone from trampoline injuries
But then Charlie said he’d heard a crack when he landed on the trampoline. So back to the local hospital we went, and they scanned his knee. I could see the x-ray and a chip on his bone, but the doctor said there was nothing to worry about, they even said it could be a normal variation of his leg. We then decided to go to another hospital – the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and we had the most amazing experience from beginning to end.
They treat the kids and the parents with such respect – they redid all his x-rays, and it showed a small fracture on the tibia and the femur, either side of the knee, and there was also cartilage damage.
At Westmead they popped him in a long splint from halfway down his thigh to halfway down his calf, and gave him crutches. They said he absolutely couldn’t weight bear on the leg. Charlie was devastated – as he had to miss out on going to his Little Athletics Zone Carnival.
We bought a wheelchair on Gumtree which he uses now, as he can’t go on crutches for too long.
Charlie found it difficult on crutches, following trampoline injuries, but the wheelchair helps. | Image source: Supplied
‘With three kids who love sport, we’ve had a few trips to the hospital’
We’ve had lots of trips to the hospital this year with broken bones and bone stress. I do have three very active kids. A nurse at Westmead said to me, “clearly these kids do not have an X-Box at home. I said, “after all this, I might want to get them one for Christmas!”
Like other families, it’s been a tough year for us – we live in the Blue Mountains and around 12 months ago we were under the threat of bushfires, and packing up everything in our home in case we had to flee, and then along came COVID.
After everything, I had a bit of a moment with the doctors and nurses at Westmead, I started to cry and said, “I can’t spend another $400 dollars on an MRI.” So, we didn’t have to.
Charlie recently had an MRI before an appointment with a knee specialist – and it was decided he wouldn’t need surgery. It’s all still unknown what his future treatment will be.
I don’t blame the other boys’ parents, they are nine-year-old boys and accidents do happen. We have just had a crazy year like everyone has! Looking back, I wish that I had insisted more with medical staff, and I do feel guilty for not believing Charlie. But I’ve actually spoken to a lot of mums, who have said, “yep I would have done exactly the same thing!” When he was in the hospital and discovered that it was possibly fractured, there was a moment when he looked at me with a smile on his face and said, “Mum this is you: ‘Just walk on it Charlie!’”
This article was first published in KidSpot and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
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