NEW Fall: Layton-kane

Mum Amy talks about the effects of her son’s brain injury after he fell at the age of three.

Published: September 2018. Date of brain injury: September 2015 (child aged 3 years). My son, Layton-kane, was three years’ old when he was playing with his older sister and fell on a hard floor. I was woken by my daughter who was screaming: "Mum! Help! It's Layton he isn't breathing". I ran downstairs and couldn't get in the living room as Layton was on the floor so I squeezed in to find my son lying on the floor making strange noises. His eyes were gone to the back of his head. I started to panic, got my partner down and he told me to phone an ambulance. What felt like a lifetime for them to arrive was actually just minutes. 
Layton lying in hospital
The paramedics came in and rushed Layton to hospital. Within half an hour of being there he was rushed into theatre. All I got told was he had a bleed on the brain and they needed to stop it; that's all.
Layton sitting in hospital

In hospital

When Layton came out of theatre he got moved to intensive care where he was placed in a coma. The next day the police came to the hospital as I couldn't explain how he fell – it wasn't until they questioned my daughter they realised it was an accident. The doctors at the hospital were great – but I felt very sad and experienced a lot of grief. 
Layton walking

Leaving the hospital

After we left the hospital it was so hard for us getting back into routine. Layton struggled to keep calm. He was always angry, always tired, he wouldn't sleep at night but he’d sleep all day. It was so hard.  We had visits from his brain specialist most days to see his progress. When Layton returned to school they were great and helped so much.

Four years on

It’s now nearly four years since the accident and Layton is seven. The school have always supported Layton but he still struggles some days. Layton is behind with school and doesn't want to learn. For example, if I teach him simple sums, five minutes later he will forget. I have noticed his behaviour has got worse in the past six months or maybe more. Layton’s brain specialist is now back in touch with us as this year I noticed something isn't right. The hospital did say as he gets older he may continue to face challenges related to his brain injury – but they won't know for definite until he gets older.  To help my son we’ve been trying to get back into a routine with sleeping and I think going back to school this month will help him.
Layton\'s birthday

Support and emotions

It would have been good to have more support at the time – and it could have helped me in the long term. I haven’t had any help with my thoughts – only my mates and partner. They have seen me break so many times and I’m lucky they have been there for me. In terms of the future, I just want my son to get the help and support that he needs. If I had one piece of advice to other parents it would be to stay strong and be patient with it. No end of times I have cried because I didn’t know what to do.  Further information Books that may help with some of the challenges (P&P costs only) include Acquired Brain Injury In Children: A Parents' Handbook, children’s book Tim Tron and Me and my brain: a handbook for teenagers affected by acquired brain injury. The Children’s Trust has a Brain Injury Community Service that offers clinical screening, advice and onward referral to all children and young people across the UK with a confirmed or suspected acquired brain injury.
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