Teen’s heartfelt reunion with paramedic after accident

Published 5:00pm 31 May 2022

Teen’s heartfelt reunion with paramedic after accident
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A Moreton Bay teenager who one day hopes to become a paramedic has thanked those who came to his aid after he was injured in an accident recently.

Carter Parcell and his mother Cassie, visited North Lakes Ambulance Station this morning to meet critical care paramedic Tom Kelsey and hand-deliver a coffee voucher, box of chocolates and card in appreciation.

Tom, along with fellow Metro North advanced care paramedics Michaela Stanley and Ryan Fraser, responded to the Triple Zero (000) call when Carter fractured two bones in left leg and dislocated his left ankle during a freak accident at his gymnastics training session at Redcliffe PCYC on April 23.

Carter said it was important to him, and his mum, to thank Tom in person for everything he did on the day of the accident.

“I wanted to meet Tom again and see what he did when I was out (sedated),” the 13-year-old said.

During the special visit, Carter chatted with Tom about the accident, his recovery, his hopes of becoming a professional gymnast, and even stated that he would like to walk in Tom’s footsteps one day.

“After school I might study to become a paramedic. It’s always been a dream of mine to help other people,” he said.

After receiving the gifts, Tom promised Carter he would share them with his colleagues.

“I see the other advanced care paramedics regularly, usually at the hospital, so I will be sure to share these gifts with them,” he said.

Teen’s heartfelt reunion with paramedic after accident

An unfortunate accident

On the day of the accident, Carter has just started his warm-up routine when he injured his leg.

The timing of the freak accident meant Carter had to miss Gymnastic Australia’s National Club Carnivale on the Gold Coast, which was held earlier this month.

“I was training for Nationals and was doing straight jumps, so jumping up and down on the trampoline when I snapped two bones, tore all the ligaments on both sides, and dislocated my ankle,” Carter said.

“I couldn’t feel my foot at all.”

His coached called for an ambulance immediately, with Tom arriving shortly after.

“When I arrived on scene, the advanced care crew has already begun treatment and extraction to get Carter into the back of the ambulance,” Tom said.

“They basically did the heavy lifting before I got there. They had given Carter some pain relief, and as he was still on the trampoline, they had to organise to get him off there and into the back of the ambulance.”

Once inside the ambulance, Tom sedated Carter for a few minutes so he would not feel the excruciating pain that came with realigning his foot.

“The reason why the crew called me is because, an advanced care paramedic crew can absolutely manage a fracture, but when it’s a fracture dislocation to the point where you have got neurovascular compromised to the foot, it can actually become a long-term and limb-threatening injury,” Tom said.

“If you have got altered perfusion, sensation and movement to the foot, you can have permanent effects from that the longer it goes on.

“The ideal treatment is to reduce the fracture by putting it back into place and restore perfusion and sensation to the foot, because nerves and vessels are being impinged and squashed, so the only way to fix this is to pull it into alignment.

“We then rechecked the neurovascular observations - he could move his toes where he couldn’t before, and he had good colour and good sensation, which he also didn’t have before.”

Carter awoke shortly after in the ambulance and was taken to the Redcliffe Hospital where he had X-Rays done.

Determined to get back to gymnastics

Carter is hoping to have his cast taken off this week, and then move into a moon boot.

Despite the seriousness of the injury, it has not deterred Carter from continuing gymnastics.

“I will hopefully get a medical certificate, so I can do some strength training,” Carter said.

While he sadly was not able to compete at Nationals, he did travel down with his mum to support his teammates and be in the Queensland team photo.

“I will say the medals this year were pretty cool, and I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t get one of those,” Carter said.

While there, he also met Olympic gymnasts – Dominic Clarke and Jay Wilson – which he described as a real highlight.

Carter is now more determined than ever to compete at Nationals next year and has even set his sights on the Junior World Championships.


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