Emergency Abroad

Jess in hospital

Planning your holiday can be super exciting! Then there is the airport experience (I love an airport!) and off you go, looking forward to all the relaxation and sunshine! Nobody expects things to go wrong, but it can…

Whilst we were shopping in Orlando we went into a Gap outlet store. There was a perspex box on a shelf at the queue with nail varnishes and pretty coloured things in. John and I were paying for our items, my mum and the girls were at the end of the queue looking at things and Jess a curious 15 month old saw this box, clear with pretty coloured things in – it was too much to resist! She put her little hands on the edge and pulled it to see inside, but it wasn’t attached to the shelf! So as she pulled she fell backwards, bringing the large heavy, with sharp edges, perspex box with her…

I heard the thud, then there was the pause – so you know it hurt – then came the scream and tears! My mum picked her up and was looking at the back of her head, nobody else seemed to see what I saw which was a large gaping hole on the bridge of her nose. I shouted call an ambulance, call an ambulance, but even the girl behind the counter didn’t see. Then mum turned her around and everyone saw. Things moved quickly then; the call was made, a first aid box was produced, people were rushing about. A lovely English lady came up to me and handed me a tissue and said “It’s OK, calm down, you can do this, you need to be there for her.” I immediately pulled myself together, thanked the lady and set to work, trying to calm my 5 year old down who was also crying hysterically.

Within two minutes a fire engine arrived; I had no idea why a fire engine was there, but in America the rescue services are all trained in everything so closest attends, no matter what the call. Five firemen got out and were talking about sinus issues and surgery and which hospital would be better, I was in a bit of a blur at this point. Anyway, we went to hospital in an ambulance which had now arrived. We went to a specialist paediatric hospital and were seen immediately. After being seen by two doctors and several nurses it was decided she would need to be sedated to be stitched and they would need to X-ray to see if there was any bone damage.

A wonderful nurse wrapped Jess in a blanket so she couldn’t wriggle too much as they put the cannula in her arm and then I was allowed to stay with her as they put her to sleep and stitched her up with two internal stitches and four external on the bridge of her nose. It took 30 minutes and was the longest 30 minutes of my life! Watching two doctors, one nurse and an anesthetist watch over my baby, stitching her up was…well, it was just the worst feeling.

We had to wait for her to come to and that was again awful; it was as if she was drunk, so strange noises and movements had me a bit scared, but eventually she woke up. They X-rayed and all was fine – she had a pack of crackers and some juice and finally six hours later from when we arrived we could go home. We were told to make sure she didn’t get the wound wet or go in the sunlight – in Florida on holiday this is not the easiest!

Jess Stitches

So what have I learnt from my experience? Thank goodness for holiday insurance! I had been poorly as a little girl in America so my dad always ensures we have holiday insurance with 10 million dollars medical cover – seems excessive, however I will NEVER leave the country without insurance!

You get what you pay for, the service we received at the hospital in America was outstanding! They were absolutely brilliant every step of the way. I know you have to pay and I am forever grateful to our NHS service and how great the doctors and nurses are, however it is so different over there!

I have learnt even the most meticulous planned holiday, with spreadsheets for Disney, fast passes and restaurants booked months in advance, things happen and can go wrong! You have to just deal with the situation as it arises and remain calm; I will forever be grateful to that wonderful lady who reminded me that I couldn’t fall apart as my girls needed me!

Finally, nothing else matters but the health and happiness of my family – all those trivial things I worry about and those silly rows about eating breakfast on time and getting dressed in the morning suddenly seem so pointless…

Jess stitches out - steri

Anyway we are back, the stitches are out and Jess is still exactly the same and not put off by her little adventure and as for us, we are back to worrying about getting dressed in the morning and eating breakfast in time for school!!

To read Amanda’s blog about her trip to Orlando click here…

Jess asleep - healing cut

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