It is every parent’s worst nightmare — your child has been involved in a serious accident and you are unable to be there to help her.
That was the very frightening and very real ordeal that Tocumwal mother Sam Mason was faced with last month when her daughter Willow, 7, was airlifted to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.
On February 18, Willow, a confident barrel racer, was cantering along on her horse bareback when she was suddenly bucked from the horse.
Distressingly for Mrs Mason, at the time of the incident she was in the US with her eldest daughter Araminta and was updated on the situation via Facebook.
‘‘Willow’s older brother heard her crying and saw that she was on the ground,’’ Mrs Mason said.
‘‘My son then rang me straight away and because she couldn’t really remember what had happened, she was really freaking out and I was watching the whole thing on Facebook Messenger video.
‘‘They were trying to sedate her and they would have taken her to Shepparton, but they thought because she couldn’t remember anything they would get the helicopter and they gave her IV sedation.’’
Willow admits she was doing everything she was not supposed to be doing.
Once she got to the hospital, Willow underwent a series of precautionary tests to assess for major brain damage.
Today, Willow is recovering from concussion and is back at school in Tocumwal.
She will have a television conference with a neurosurgeon for a further assessment this week.
The first day her daughter was in hospital was particularly distressing for Mrs Mason, as Willow’s condition was unclear because of her memory loss.
Mrs Mason said paramedics discussed putting the teenager in an induced coma in the chopper, but thankfully they were able to settle her down with a sedative.
Willow’s grandmother drove from Deniliquin to Melbourne to comfort the teenager while she was in hospital the first night.
While it could have ended in tragedy for the keen young horse rider, Willow is now close to making a full recovery. The only thing troubling her is an occasional headache.