Patient Story -

Mother relives son's horror crash

When your child is terribly injured, many parents will understand that helpless feeling, knowing there is nothing you can do for your child.

Lyn Mansfield is one such parent. As the mother of a teenage boy, Lyn experienced the horrific anguish and fear firsthand when her 17-year-old son Daniel was critically injured last June after his motorbike hit a tree south of Boonah.

“It was about 11.15am when Daniel’s life changed, as he hit a tree while riding his motorbike,” Lyn said.

“He and his friends were just living life and doing what they loved.

“I was at home when I received the call from his best mate and I instantly knew Daniel was in trouble.

“Daniel lay on the ground while the CareFlight chopper was immediately flown in from Toowoomba to airlift him to the Gold Coast Hospital.

“My husband and I drove to the hospital to see Daniel and it felt like forever to get there. It sounds strange, but I was calm – I put all my trust in the doctors because they do this all the time.”

Daniel spent two weeks in an intensive care unit suffering bruising on the brain; facial fractures, including a broken nose and fractured eye socket; as well as a collapsed lung and spinal fractures.

As a result of his severe traumatic injuries, Daniel lay in a coma for 10 days, with doctors operating on his face and inserting a tracheostomy in his throat to mechanically ventilate his lungs during this time.

“Daniel was heavily sedated and did not wake up, but I was prepared to sit in the ICU for however long it took. After 10 long days, Daniel slowly woke up and by the next day, he was identifying himself in photos, throwing a ball and using his phone,” Lyn said.

After eight months of intensive rehabilitation – against all odds – Daniel can now walk and talk.

“Daniel had to start again, learning how to do what we take for granted,” Lyn said.

“It has been a rollercoaster ride for our family, with many highs and lows. But we are forever grateful that CareFlight was there. Without them it may have been a different story.

Lyn witnessed firsthand the difference seconds can make when you’re in trouble.

“I now know with a head injury, every minute is crucial.

“I’ve been told that the speed in which the CareFlight doctor was able to get to Daniel, to start treatment on his multiple injuries and then airlift him to hospital was a big factor in his recovery. If the helicopter and crew wasn’t there, I don’t think Daniel would have made it.

“CareFlight and its highly trained doctors have given our family a future with Daniel to look forward to.”

Now, nine months on from the accident, Daniel is working as an apprentice carpenter and also works at McDonalds on the weekend.

“I hope you can support CareFlight today by making a donation. They rely on the community to keep them in the air. If your dad or sister, brother or child were ever injured or in strife, I can tell you, you’d want to know that CareFlight were on their way,” Lyn added.