Emma Beck, 28, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire explains how her son Noah’s uplifting rescue was all caught on camera...
Getting ready to hit the shops when you’re juggling three kids can be hectic.
On Sunday, 17 July 2016, I’d just leapt out of the shower, and sent my eldest son Harrison, 9, in after me.
Then I snatched a moment to do some ironing while my daughter Molly, 4, and son Noah, 18 months, were next door playing in her room. I could hear them chattering away.
Noah’s dad, my partner of three years, Jason Oxley, 42, had nipped out to take his eldest son back to his mum’s.
I was tackling a stubborn crease when suddenly, everything went quiet next door and Molly appeared at my door, face pale.
‘Mummy, Noah’s fallen out of the window!’ she shouted.
Heart pounding, stomach lurching, I ran downstairs and outside to the garden.
Please be OK… I willed.
Noah was lying in a heap on the patio.
Very still, but conscious, moaning quietly.
I scooped him up.
His head was swollen and he had some scratches, but his eyes were open.
‘It’s OK, baby,’ I breathed.
I ran for the nearest neighbour and banged on the window.
‘Call an ambulance!’ I cried.
After that, time became a blur. Helpless, tears streaming, I sat on my sofa cradling Noah, waiting for the paramedics.
Meanwhile, a neighbour fetched my phone and rang Jason, who raced home.
When we moved into the property two years earlier, we were told the bedroom windows didn’t lock as they were our fire-escape route.
That’s why they opened wide.
Molly must’ve opened the window, and Noah must’ve climbed from the bed onto the window ledge – then fallen.
Soon after, I heard the whir of helicopter blades. The air ambulance landed and medics cut off Noah’s clothes.
I held him in the helicopter as Jason followed in a police car, while Jason’s mum
Nancy 72, came to watch Molly and Harrison.
At Sheffield Children’s Hospital, the helicopter landed in the park opposite.
As Noah was rushed into A&E, I felt like I was in the middle of a film set.
But this was a drama I didn’t want to be living.
Noah was taken for a brain scan while I paced the floor.
About 20 minutes later, Jason arrived. We clung to each other in a family room until, minutes on, we had news.
‘I’m afraid it’s a fractured skull stretching from his right eye socket to the back of his head, plus he has a small bleed on the brain,’ the doctor said.
I exchanged a terrified look with Jason.
‘We’ll insert a plastic bolt in his head to measure pressure on his brain for the next 24 hours,’ he added.
‘He’ll be OK, won’t he?’ I said.
‘We can’t make any promises,’ the doctor replied.
Bracing ourselves, we silently prayed for a miracle.
But, the following day, pressure normal, Noah was taken off sedation. Although groggy when he came round, with a very sore head, his recovery was amazing.
Within hours, Noah was out of bed, running around the ward asking the nurses if he could have some juice.
The next day, the doctors were so pleased with his progress that they discharged Noah from hospital.
He had a padded helmet to wear to protect his skull.
Active again, climbing everything he could find, there was no holding him back!
Accidents happen. I’m just so grateful there wasn’t a tragic ending to our story.
Now, we’ve a green cap over the keyhole on the windows so they’re locked, but we can undo them in the event of a fire.
Six weeks on, a scan revealed Noah had no long-term damage.
Thankfully, his age was on his side. If you or I sustained his injury, it’d probably be fatal.
In December, Helicopter ER, broadcast on UKTV’s channel Really, got in touch asking to feature our story.
I’d barely noticed the cameras recording the horror on the day, but I agreed as it’d be a warning to other parents.
I’ll never be able to thank the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) staff enough.
A charity, they rely solely on donations. In October, I did a 10-mile walk around Rotherham, raising over £3,000 for YAA.
I’ve always been a careful, over-protective mum, but now I never let Noah out of my sight.
Despite his close call, he’s an adventurous spirit. But now, I keep the windows locked before any leap!