Paige Ferguson’s 6-month-old son, Colton, was taking a nap on her friend’s bed when he rolled off and sustained a serious head injury. Now, Ferguson is speaking out to warn other parents about the possible danger and to encourage them to make sure their child is checked out by a medical professional if they hit their head, even if they appear unharmed.
In a Facebook post that has now gone viral, Ferguson explains what happened to Colton and urges parents to take extra care to avoid a similar situation.
She begins her post by admitting that she was unsure about posting her story, but decided that sharing what happened to her family could help others realize the serious risks involved when a baby suffers a fall.
A Devastating Tragedy
Ferguson says her son fell from a bed that was only 2 feet off the ground. As parents know, any kind of injury to your baby is terrifying, especially a fall.
Although they thought the injury was probably minor, she and her fiancé, Blake Linton, took Colton to the hospital to be evaluated.
“We thought for sure they were going to say he hit his head, has a bump, and he will be fine,” Ferguson wrote.
They were devastated to learn that his skull was fractured and half of his blood volume had bled into his brain. He went into cardiac arrest.
“I’m going to be blunt here…Colton may not live. Colton may live and never walk or talk, Colton may be fine, Colton may be delayed,” Ferguson wrote. “It’s up in the air right now and he is still fighting for his life because we are not out of the woods.”
She notes a misconception that “if a bump swells outward, you’re safe,” and also says that Colton was responsive and even smiled after his fall. This is particularly important because much of the advice you read online about a baby bumping his or her head will tell you to a) relax and b) observe your baby for any unusual behavior before becoming alarmed.
Ferguson goes on to characterize the experience as a “nightmare” and urges all parents to take any hit to the head seriously.
What The Future Holds For Colton
Colton underwent emergency brain surgery and he remained in the hospital for a month, where he received blood transfusions and endured another surgery. His injury resulted in severe epilepsy, and he uses a feeding tube. Doctors expect that he will have cerebral palsy and will have trouble walking and talking as he gets older.
“He’s the strongest child I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Because of the cardiac arrest, Colton’s entire brain was affected,” Ferguson told People. “I will do everything in my power to ensure he has a happy life. I really think he’s going to do more than what [the doctors] think he will. But I’m also very fearful for his future.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Colton’s medical expenses.
How To Keep Your Baby Safe
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommends infants sleep in the same bedroom as their parents but “on a separate surface such as a crib or bassinet.” The AAP warns against putting infants to sleep on a soft surface such as a couch or armchair in order “to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths.”
As for head trauma in infants, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides some helpful guidelines for parents. A 911 call is recommended if any of the following occurs:
- Knocked out for more than 1 minute
- Not moving neck normally (Caution: protect the neck from any movement)
- Hard to wake up
- Acts or talks confused or slurred speech present now
- Walking not steady or weakness of arms/legs present now
- Major bleeding that can’t be stopped
- You think your child has a life-threatening emergency
The hospital recommends a phone call to your doctor or trip to the ER for any head injury in kids under age 1.
RELATED: Safe sleep for your baby is critically important. This pediatrician lost his son to SIDS and is speaking out to raise awareness.