Teenager who suffered traumatic brain injury while quad-biking reunited with life-saving medics

Callum can't remember the crash but can recall everything leading up to the moment. Credit: Great North Air Ambulance Service

A teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury while riding his quad bike has been reunited with the life-saving medical team who came to his aid.

Callum McDougall, 15, can't recall the crash in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway but does remember everything in the build-up.

Speaking of the incident, he said: "I was working on the estate and bringing in the drinkers to wash them, so the pheasants could have a drink.

"I remember spinning round on the quad bike and then I was out."

The nearest air ambulance service was unavailable at the time so the critical team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) flew to the scene from Langwathby in Cumbria.

Dr Mark Byers from GNAAS, said: "It was evident that Callum had sustained a significant injury, so to prevent it from getting any worse, we put him in a medically induced coma on the roadside.

"This can only be safely performed outside of a hospital by a doctor and critical care paramedic.

"We then flew him to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, from where he was then transferred to the Royal Hospital for Children."

Callum and his family were reunited with the GNAAS team. Credit: GNAAS

Callum's mother, Amy Woodrow, was at home when she spotted the helicopter from the GNAAS.

She said: "I was tidying the house and I was just about to put the last of my rubbish out in the wheelie bin at the front door, and a helicopter flew over the house, which you don’t see many of in our area.

"Within an hour the police came down the path and said, 'your son has been in an accident' and it dawned on me that the helicopter was actually for him."

Due to his injuries, Callum underwent a decompressive craniectomy - a procedure which involves removing part of the skull to reduce the pressure on his brain.

He initially spent two months in hospital where the removed bone got infected, so instead of being reattached to his skull he recently had a titanium plate fitted in his head.

Callum had a titanium plate fitted due to his brain injuries. Credit: GNAAS

He said: "I’ve got a bit of short-term memory loss and I feel a bit fatigued so I’m not 100% but I’m getting better every day and I’ve already been back on a quad bike."

Since the incident, Callum and his family have returned to see the GNAAS staff who were on call to come to his aid.

Ms Woodrow said: "I'm so pleased we got to meet and shake the hands of the men that got Callum to hospital.

"They were so modest and unassuming in regards to the crucial part they played on the day, and in Callum’s words 'just brilliant'."

Dr Byers added: "It was great to see Callum doing so well and hear that the incident hasn’t put him off riding quad bikes.

"I just hope the next time he gets on one he puts his safety first and remembers to wear a helmet."

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