One little 5-year-old boy from the U.K. received a wonderful gift after breaking his neck after a fall on the family’s trampoline. Riley Hoy landed on his neck after doing a backflip. Incredibly, the little guy was swimming and camping five weeks after his fall until doctors realized his injury was more severe than initially thought.
“One of the doctors said how he didn’t end up paralyzed or worse in the five weeks, was beyond him,” his mother, Gemma, 32, told SWNS. “Someone was looking out for him, that’s for sure.”
For Riley, his recovery would come with struggles of the emotional sort. He would need to wear a metal brace that would be bolted to his skull. He’d have to wear what is called a halo for eight weeks.
“The halo was six bolts around the top… which have got pins which rest on the skull, going through the skin, and they are attached to a little waistcoat type thing,” Gemma said. “It’s a thing you never think you will face.”
Thankfully, Riley wouldn’t have to brave his recovery alone. The Hoy’s neighbor, 30-year-old Rachel Dark gave the little boy a bear named “Jamie Bear,” who also wears a halo neck brace.
“He took Jamie Bear to all his appointments, and when Riley had his pins tightened, Jamie Bear did too,” his mother said. “It was really helpful for him. When the doctors checked his pins, they would check his teddy too, and when Riley had it off, so did the bear.”
Riley’s family noticed the success he had with Jamie Bear, and they decided to help other children find the emotional support in a new furry friend.
“We saw what good it did for Riley — he dealt with it so well and was brilliant,” his mother said. “And it’s brilliant that the hospital now has more bears for other children.”
After doing away with the metal brace, Riley was outfitted with a plastic one which he wore until December. The brave little man is expected to make a full recovery come the summer. There is more good news; the family got rid of the trampoline.
Riley’s mom is thrilled if a little worried to have her active little boy back: “He’s back riding his bike and wrestling with his brother.”
“I must admit that it does make me cringe, but we’ve got to let him be a 5-year-old.”
Yes, Riley must be able to be a child. With the help of Jamie Bear, he’s overcome his injury and made a new friend in the process. Hooray!