When cries turns to screams – a parent’s nightmare

Dislcaimer – post contains images that may offend sensitive viewers. The images are of a burn injury. 

Have you ever experienced such terror that you couldn’t move for a few seconds? Terror at hearing your child scream in pain and not know what to do? That was me a few weeks ago when Ethan had a terrible accident.

We were away for the weekend. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect and the kids were well-behaved (mostly) and having the time of their lives. We were on the bank of the Breede River, glamping in the most perfect spot of Rivierzicht close to Robertson. Harper couldn’t contain her excitement of all the grass she was able to walk barefoot on and all the sand she could eat. We even took a few dips on the river. Heaven.

Just before she started eating the sand
Walking on the green, green grass
Contemplating life 🙂
Silly bums

On our last day there, we had made a fire in the pit to heat up our breakfast as there was no microwave for that purpose. Hours later, this gorgeous little barge came down the river. The barge offers trips down the river from a nearby campsite. There was so much excitement about this watercraft, especially from Ethan. It was his first time being this close to something so cool. He was jumping up and down in wonder and spotted a little dog on the barge. As the barge was casually drifting down the river, Ethan was following it, exclaiming at us to look, look, look! I was in the tent, packing up the last of our goodies as we were getting ready to leave.

Our accommodation
The barge on the river
The fire pit – taken right before the incident

My friend had come around to chat about something and we were standing on the deck, looking at the river but not really taking note of our surroundings as we were deep in conversation. And then, disaster! I hear Ethan start crying and another friend of mine run to pick him up. At this point, his crying changed to screams and I was just standing there watching as everything unfolded. Thinking he just fell and scraped his knee, not really seeing the panic in my friend’s face, I took my time to make my way down to them.

My eldest
My middle
My baby

At this time, they had him under the tap that was close by and I only then realised the seriousness of the situation. You see, Ethan was following the barge on the river and not realised where he was walking as he was looking at the dog and laughing when he fell into the fire pit. Even though we had made fire hours before, the coals were still hot. I rushed to him and just held him, trying to calm him while my sister applied Burnshield to his hand.

The Burnshield on his hand being replaced at the Wound Clinic
First look at his injury

Sad little one after his first dressing change

Mark had gone to the ablution block during this time and when he returned and heard what happened, he immediately grabbed Ethan and got him into the car. I barely had time to grab my purse and get in the car before he was racing to the hospital. That was the longest 25 minute drive of my life. Ethan alternated from screaming, to crying, to whimpering in pain this whole time. And there was absolutely nothing I could do beside murmur a bunch of nonsensical words of comfort into his ear.

At the hospital, they immediately attended to him. When they realised that we had used Burnshield on his injury, they seemed to relax a bit and complimented us on having it at hand and using it. Ethan had a second degree burn on his right hand, loads of blisters and not much more. Considering how much more severe it could have been, we are so lucky that it wasn’t worse.

He has had to attend a Wound Clinic a couple times a week and eventually ended up having surgery on his hand to remove the dead, burned skin. I thank the plastic surgeon for his knowledge and care and for how gently he treated Ethan. Every time we walked into the clinic, Ethan screamed knowing that they had to remove the bandage to assess his wound.

Surgery day
First look after surgery

Without the surgery, I honestly think his healing would’ve taken longer than it has. His hand is looking so great now and he has healed so well. This was such a freak accident and nothing anyone could’ve done would’ve prevented it from happening.

Almost healed up

The lesson we take from this is that accidents happen, suddenly and without any warning. Always have a fully stocked first aid kit with you wherever you go. Especially ensure that it’s stocked with Burnshield.

Burnshield – definitely a must have in the first aid kit


Insuring with Incompass – a little behind the scenes after our accident

Sponsored by Incompass, but ALL opinions are my own

It’s been more than a week since our accident and I would give anything to have this whole incident over and done with. The one thing I am so grateful for, is that we recently changed our insurers.

Making the decision to change was a daunting one. We were with a very well-known insurer and it seemed that they offered the best rates for our car. My amazing friend, Cindy (who blogs over at 3 Kids, 2 Dogs and 1 Old House) co-owns an insurance brokerage called Incompass and convinced me to at least try them out and see if they can find some competitive rates for us.

Incompass has been working in the Insurance industry for 10 years and have built very good relationships with reputable insurance companies, ensuring that we provide you with the best cover for the most affordable price.

I agreed and was put into the very capable hands of Jemimah. Gosh, that woman works magic. First, we received a set of questions that we had to answer. I think was the hardest part. Jemimah then came back to us with a few companies that had the best rates. I had a load of questions because everything was foreign to me. The terms, what exactly everyone was offering, what was included, what wasn’t, etc. But the staff at Incompass is absolutely incredible and patient (and I’m not just saying that because I’m friends with Cindy lol).

After lots of emails between us (because I had lots of questions), the contract was finalised and we were with a new insurer! Yay us! And yay to Incompass for the easy and no fuss handling of this matter. Seriously, these guys and gals do everything for you. They liaise with the insurers, send you any questions they need answered, answer all your questions you may have, send you the contract, go through it with you and then ensure that everything is finalised.

Then the inevitable happened. We had just changed insurers and were then involved in an accident. Not knowing how claims work and if we were even eligible because we had only been with our current insurers for 4 weeks. First, at the scene of the accident, I spoke to a consultant at our insurers and registered a claim. The next day, I emailed Incompass’s trusty Jemimah. Again, I’ll say it, that woman is seriously incredible. She said that she’s available to me if I need any assistance with the claim.

She contacted the insurance, she got all the documents and details they needed to them, she followed up and kept me up to speed. She is still helping me to get in touch with the assessor and claims agent. I don’t think that this would have gone any better with our previous insurer and I honestly don’t think I would’ve received this type of personalised service elsewhere.

So take it from me, you need to get in touch with Incompass and let them help you find the best cover at an affordable price. You won’t be sorry. (And don’t worry if everything sounds like gibberish or goes over your head – like it did with mine. They are patient and will explain everything to you.) Have a look at their website here, it’s really easy to use. They also have a Facebook page.

An untimely meeting

Yip, that’s our car in that photo above. On Tuesday, on our way to take Ethan to the doctor, we had an untimely meeting with a motorbike.

We were on our way to Panorama Medical Centre to see the paediatrician because Ethan was (and still is) vrek sick. We came to an intersection where we had to turn right. Mark slowed down because the traffic light was red. On his right, was a car turning into the road we were in but behind him was a motorbike, in a hurry to get somewhere. He overtook the car in the bend, accelerated and fucked into our car. Luckily Mark saw him taking the bend and tried to swerve out of the way but because there was a car in the lane next to us, he couldn’t avoid him.

All I remember is Mark saying something along the lines of “look at this idiot”, I glanced up from my phone and saw this blue object hurtling towards us. I heard the metal scraping and an oofh as the man hit the car. I sat there for a few seconds trying to process what had just happened. Then Harper gave a cry, Mark tried to open his door and couldn’t and I jumped out to check on the kids.

Bike, meet car

I opened the back door, made sure Ethan and Harper was fine and shouted at the motorcyclist. I am ashamed that I shouted at him but all I can put it down to is shock. I shouted “My kids are in the car!! My kids!! What were you thinking?!!” and then 2 seconds later, “Are you okay?!?

He was not okay. He had gotten up after falling, collected his boot that had fallen off and went to sit on the grass on the side of the road. I went to him and asked him again if he’s okay. He said he couldn’t move his arm but other than that, he was fine. It looked like he might have dislocated his arm but when Mark called this morning, he was told that he had broken bones and couldn’t work or do anything with that arm for 6 weeks. I tried to call the ambulance, or the police or any freaking emergency service but I just could not get hold of anyone. 2 minutes after the incident occurred, the rapid response was on the scene and took over. They were a massive help and kept everyone calm. They helped us get the information we need for the insurance and even called our insurance for us to inform them of the accident.

Smashed front

I am so grateful that the damage was minimal and mostly only to the vehicle. I am grateful that we weren’t injured. I am grateful that the children were buckled up and safely in the backseat. I am grateful that Mark had the sense to try to swerve because the bike and driver would’ve hit us head on. I am grateful that we chose to change our insurance a month ago and now have an amazing broker that helped us even more.

Mark is depressed and worrying about his other baby. He just wants his car fixed up to the way it was and back where it belongs.

The kids were checked out by the doctor, as we decided to go to our appointment any way. However, I’m struggling a bit today with my back and pelvis. Not sure if it’s related to the accident or if it’s just pain residue from the last time my back was sore. Guess I need to go have it checked out. Ai.