William Morris' family thanks Air Ambulance crew who saved his life as he turns seven

William was rushed to hospital by the Great North Air Ambulance aged just three after a fall from a slide which fractured his skull

William Morris (far right) with dad Chris, brother Henry and mum Janet after fracturing his skull in 2010
William Morris (far right) with dad Chris, brother Henry and mum Janet after fracturing his skull in 2010

Four years ago, he was fighting for his life after fracturing his skull.

But as he celebrates his seventh birthday, there is hardly a trace of the ordeal William Morris went through.

And all he remembers is the “orange men” in the helicopter who saved his life.

William, from Throphill, Northumberland, made headlines in the Journal when he fell from a slide at the age of three.

The youngster was stood on a platform at the top of a slide in the play area at Wallington Hall and Gardens near Morpeth, Northumberland when he stepped backwards and fell, hitting his head on a log.

Any parent’s heart would stop at that moment but Wiliam’s parents, Janet Kerwin and Chris Morris, knew even more keenly the dangers - they are both neuroscientists at Newcastle University.

Dr Kerwin told the Journal at the time: “It looked as though he was still awake but he wasn’t responding so I knew something really wasn’t right. When he woke up he was being sick and complaining of being dizzy and he was white as a sheet.

William Morris, aged seven
William Morris, aged seven

“All he wanted to do was go to sleep, so we were trying everything to keep him awake. It was so, so frightening.”

Fortunately, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) rushed to William’s aid. The crew treated him at the scene before flying him to Newcastle General Hospital in just seven minutes.

The crack in Will’s skull missed damaging crucial blood vessels in his brain by the tiniest of fractions, and the quick treatment he received helped him make a full recovery.

Will has now celebrated his seventh birthday with a pool party, and joined his school football team at Whalton First School in Morpeth.

“Time was of the essence,” Dr Kerwin says today. “Will’s chances were definitely increased because of the speed he got to hospital and the GNAAS provides that essential ingredient.

“Now he’s a happy, bright and lively seven-year-old. Thankfully he has forgotten much of his ordeal although he does remember ‘the orange men’ who helped him and if we ever hear a helicopter we always look up to see if it’s ‘his’.

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for the fantastic work the air ambulance crew do – they truly are life savers.”

Mandy Drake, deputy director at GNAAS, said: “It is great to hear from former patients because you can really appreciate how the great work of the charity lives on. We need £4m every year to keep the service going and we are so grateful for all the support we receive.”

To find out more about the charity, please visit www.gnaas.co.uk .


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