EAST GREEN HARBOUR - It is hard not to fall for the impish grin and sweet dimples of five-year-old Lucas Peterson.
© Submitted photo
Five-year-old Lucas Peterson is healing after an Oct. 19 lawn tractor accident.
During his six-week stay at the IWK Hospital, people from custodial staff to his doctors and teaching staff fell for the East Green Harbour resident.
His dad, Mark Peterson, said they are all glad to be back home, despite the exemplary care he received at the hospital.
Lucasâ injuries were extensive from the Oct. 19 accident with a lawn tractor âŠbut he is healing.
This is a difficult story for his father to tell. He rubs his hand down his face and shakes his head.
âIt still bothers me a lot to think about it,â he said.
Lucas slipped off and was run over by the lawn tractor while it was in operation.
His father pulled him out from beneath the tractor, picked him up and ran to the door of the house, yelling for his sister to call 911.
âHe was soaked in blood,â he said. Mark pulled off his sonâs pants to check the damage and the blood sprayed in every direction.
What he did next, saved his sonâs life.
âI tied off his leg with his pants to stop the bleeding,â he said.
Later, the hospital would tell him it would have taken Lucas less than four minutes to die at the rate he was losing blood.
Not able to wait for the ambulance, Mark put his son in the vehicle and stopped a few doors down to pick up his daughter, a Licensed Practical Nurse, to put pressure on the wounds.
In Jordan Falls, they met with the ambulance where they brought him to Roseway Hospital.
âLucas was in shock the whole time,â said Mark. âI was so scared.â
Lucas had lost three of his toes. As staff worked on the badly injured youngster to prepare him for the ambulance trip to Halifax, other staff worked on packing his severed toes.
When he arrived at the IWK Children's Hospital he was rushed into surgery, lasting from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Lucas had four broken bones in one leg and a broken femur in the other. His growth plate had a six-inch slice down the leg.
He was given two units of blood during the surgery and metal rods were connected to his legs.
âThey were able to save all of his toes,â said Mark.
Casts reaching from his toes to his upper thigh encase both legs.
Despite all of this, the sweet little boy in Lucas shined through.
âThe docs called him a real trooper,â said Mark. âAs he healed he took the pain well and made everyone fall in love with him.â
The family is happy to report that Lucas, while still using a wheelchair at school, is walking again.
He knows, though, itâs not the end as there is still a long road of therapy ahead as well as several more surgeries planned.
He and Lucasâ mom, Shannon, are thankful for the staff at Roseway Hospital and Emergency Health Services team, as well as the staff at the IWK and the community support during their ordeal.
âNever again,â said Mark about having a child sit on a running ride-on mower. âI know it is something everybody does but it is a hard lesson I had to go through and I hope other parents will learn and never have to go through.â