A five-year-old boy miraculously survived by falling from a moving tractor and being swept away by its powerful blades.
Carmelo Vella’s scalp was torn in last Monday’s freak accident, which left him with a broken jaw, ligament damage in his neck and friction burns to his body.
The young boy was at his family farm in Londonderry, a western suburb of Sydney, where he lives with his parents and three siblings. He was with a family member who was enjoying a routine farm walk to pick up garlic for market the next day. “It’s a daily thing kids have been doing since they were young,” but this time it was different, her mother Charlene told Yahoo News Australia.
Ms Vella explained that they had hit a bump and he was not holding on properly, forcing him to fall backwards. The five-year-old fell directly into the attached potato digger which was still in motion at the time. “My heart stopped. I thought I had lost my child,” Ms Vella said. She was inside the house at the time. “I ran outside and my husband said ‘we’re going to the hospital, I don’t want you to see him in this bad condition,'” she said.
Carmelo arrived at Hawkesbury Hospital which was only minutes from their home. But his injuries were “quite serious”, Ms Vella said, and he was taken to Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney. Upon arrival, he was rushed to surgery to staple his skull and has since had two more operations, one to put a plate in his jawbone and another to treat an infection.
“He was fully conscious. He was in shock and screaming in pain,” Ms Vella said. “He remembers everything.”
Carmelo should make a full recovery
Carmelo’s parents were reportedly told by doctors that he should not be alive. But luckily, he is expected to make a full recovery. Carmelo is now forced to wear a full corset for the next few months to help her body heal. And while he will eventually pull through, he is “having mental difficulties”, Ms Vella said.
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Ms Vella said driving tractors and farming was like “second nature” to the children. “We grew up in the agricultural industry,” she said. The mother-of-four and her husband run an agricultural and mechanical business but have had to stop working for the time being.
“Just recovered” from a series of tragic blows
The accident is another tragic blow for the family who have already struggled. “We have just recovered from three major floods in Hawkesbury, Nepean area. Obviously Covid and I also had a difficult pregnancy,” she said. Mrs Vella, whose other children are 4, 2 and 3 months old, was told she could not have any more children after her four pregnancies were accompanied by significant complications.
“When I get pregnant, my body can’t handle it, so it starts to deteriorate. The last pregnancy I had eclampsia – where high blood pressure leads to seizures during pregnancy – and I was admitted to intensive care,” she explained. Her baby was born at 30 weeks and stayed in the hospital for three months. The pregnancy that preceded her brought her to complete rest, she explained. “I couldn’t even take care of my children because my body was struggling.”
The devastated mum said it had “taken its toll” on us, but that she and her husband had “got their lives back on track” until Carmelo’s accident sent them into a spiral again.
Teneil Holland, a friend of the family, is trying to raise money for them to help them through this time. “The Vellas need love and support with many dates coming up for their brave little guy,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. So far, over $6,000 has been raised, surpassing the original goal of $2,000. But Ms Vella said only part of that money will go towards Carmelo’s recovery and the rest will be donated.
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. boy suffers from horrible injuries after accident abnormal in a farm family