Mum Rhianna Evans, 24, from Ellesmere Port in Cheshire opens up about the worst day of her life...
We’ll have a day together,’ I told Louis, 5. ‘Just you and me.’ It was July this year, and we’d just dropped off his little sister Madeilynn-Grace, 2, at nursery.
Then, when we’d arrived at Louis’ school, we’d learned his teachers were on strike and the kids had been sent home. So now we had a whole day of Mummy and Louis time.
‘Let’s go to the money tree,’ I suggested. We often went to Eastern Woods to shake the trees. When Louis wasn’t looking I’d drop small change for him to find, making out that it’d fallen from the branches. He loved it!
I needed to do some tidying first, but Louis was keen to head off to the woods. ‘Hurry up, Mummy!’ he said. ‘Nearly time to go,’ I promised. I just nipped to the loo downstairs and Louis appeared. ‘I need the toilet too, Mummy, I’ll go upstairs,’ he said. He’d done it thousands of times before – I thought nothing of it.
But suddenly, I heard a sickening thud…
‘Louis!’ I shouted, running upstairs in a state of panic. No sign of Louis. Then I heard him scream. The window was open in my bedroom. Please, no..!
Rushing to the garden, Louis was in a heap on the floor – half on concrete, half on grass. He’d fallen out of the window. His head looked misshapen, he was covered in blood, his nose squashed and his face swollen. I burst into hysterical tears.
‘I thought you were going to the toilet,’ was all I could manage. I screamed for my neighbours’ help and called 999.By then, both me and Louis were screaming.
‘I can’t see him like this,’ I sobbed. Thankfully, paramedics arrived within minutes. ‘Please don’t let him die,’ I begged. ‘He needs to be air-lifted to Alder Hey,’ I was told. Louis and me were driven to a field nearby, where an air ambulance collected us.
Holding Louis’ hands, I sang You Are My Sunshine to him. Our song. Four minutes later, we were at hospital.
‘Your son has two skull fractures and a broken nose,’ I was told after scans. ‘We can’t see any brain damage, but we’ll need to keep an eye on him.’ Louis was taken to the High Dependency Unit, where I sat with him. ‘What happened?’ I gently asked Louis. ‘It was an accident, sorry Mummy,’ he said.
Louis explained that he’d jumped onto my windowsill to see if his friend was in the playground at the school that backed onto our house. Then he’d fallen out of the window, 15ft, to the ground below.
He’d landed face first, yet he’d survived. An angel must’ve caught him, I told myself.
‘My foot hurts,’ he kept saying. An X-ray later revealed he’d also broken his foot and lower leg and needed a cast.
I called my mum Senga, 54, and Madeilynn-Grace’s dad looked after her for the following week while Louis’ face swelling went down. ‘Face, sore,’ Madeilynn-Grace kept saying, stroking her big bro’s face, when she got home.
We had weekly checks at the hospital and Louis was admitted again with severe headaches related to the fall. He spent the whole summer cooped up indoors, in a wheelchair, as he couldn’t bear any weight on his left leg.
Now Louis suffers night terrors, mood swings and is on constant painkillers. Our housing association has since fitted some safety locks on the windows. And, naturally, I never take my eyes off him.
The day of the accident was the worst day of my life, yet somehow, my brave boy is alive. I couldn’t be more grateful.