Toddler Impaled By Pencil After Tripping Over At Family Function
A young boy has been reunited with the paramedics who helped save his life, nearly three years after a frightening ordeal saw him lodge a pencil inside his eye.
Thomas, who was just 14-months old at the time and had just learnt how to walk, tripped while holding a pencil in his mouth.
The pencil lodged itself in his top pallet and went in so deep that it fractured Thomas' eye socket.
The gruesome accident happened at an early family Christmas gathering in 2016. His mum, Bri Skrypinski, heard her son scream from the other room, and ran to find Thomas covered in blood.
What ensued was what the Gold Coast mum described as "any parent's worst nightmare."
Remarkably, Bri managed to stay calm during the ordeal, immediately calling Queensland Ambulance Service and making sure Thomas didn't remove the pencil from where it was lodged and risking further injury.
"The initial reaction was shock, and then you go into that mode of protectiveness," Bri told reporters, as the family reunited with the paramedics who came to Thomas' rescue for the first time.
In a distressing 000 call released on Tuesday, Bri can be heard pleading for help on what to do.
"It's bleeding so badly, we can't stop the bleeding," she told the first responder on the other end of the line.
Paramedics Adrianna Barnes and Clint Peters were on duty that day and treated Thomas at the scene before rushing him to hospital, where the young boy underwent emergency surgery to remove the pencil.
On Tuesday, the pair praised Bri for remaining calm in the situation, one they said they had also never been confronted with before.
Clint, who has two young children of his own, said that ever since helping Thomas and Bri he has become "a little bit reactive with my kids."
"Bri was incredible and I don't say that lightly," Clint said.
"She was cool as, you could see the stress on her face."
Adrianna said Bri's calmness even helped to keep her and Clint calm as well, as they tried to figure out a treatment plan.
"I could see in her eyes and on her face she was so incredibly scared," Adrianna said.
"I think it helps everyone on scene to stay calm and things just work better."
Adrianna remembers hearing Bri sing to Thomas while en route to the hospital.
"I rocked him and sang 'Twinkle Twinkle' and I think I was even singing it in the ambulance from memory," Bri said.
On Tuesday, the family was finally able to thank the two paramedics for helping save Thomas' life, almost three years after the accident.
"These wonderful people don't get thanked enough for their efforts and they go through this every day," Bri said.
Thomas has spent close to three years recovering from his injuries and now wears glasses.
Doctors say the pencil was lodged so far into his eye socket that it missed his optic nerve by millimetres.