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A quick stop at the grandparents’ house to pick up the family boat and mow the lawn turned into a nightmare for the Tidmarshes when five-year-old Cooper was run over by a riding lawnmower and had to be transported to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Cooper’s dad Tavis was driving the mower and just as he was backing up in preparation to make a sharp turn, Cooper tried to jump on the rear hitch to go for a ride. The lawnmower backed up on top of him. When Tavis realized what happened, he looked over to find the bottom half of Cooper’s body underneath the blades.
Hysterically, Tavis instantly threw the mower off of Cooper, whose right foot was hanging by skin, exposing his bones. As Kristy frantically called 911 and used Tavis’ belt and wrapped it around his son’s leg as a tourniquet. While in the ambulance to Lethbridge hospital, Cooper, seeing the worry on his mom’s face, kept saying, “I’m going to be OK. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.” The Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team airlifted Cooper to the Alberta Children’s Hospital while Kristy and Tavis followed behind by car. During the ride they got a call from the doctors, phoning to say their son’s foot would need to be amputated at the ankle. Dr. Keifer and Dr. Fraulin performed three surgeries in five days to clean the wound and stich up the skin. Only four days later, Cooper went from using a wheelchair to using a walker to get around, and today, he can walk on his own two feet thanks to a prosthetic and rehab at the hospital. Looking at him now, you’d never suspect Cooper went through what he did. He doesn’t let his disability get him down and is excited to be in Kindergarten this year.
His parents are grateful for the nurses who made Cooper feel so special. They wheeled his bed into the playroom so he could play Lego and Kristy woke up one night to find a nurse watching a movie with him. Cooper won’t soon forget the fun he had with MEDi, a donor-funded childlike robot, who came to visit him and make him smile.
Cooper’s parents say they didn’t know there was a place as wonderful as this. The hospital caregivers truly go above and beyond to care for the child, and whole family. They are thankful that though Cooper lost his foot, he never lost his spirit.