close
close

Boy, 14, lucky to be alive after breaking every bone in his face in BMX crash

WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A teenager is lucky to be alive after breaking every bone in his face, losing three teeth and suffering a brain bleed in a crash on his BMX.

Grady Russell, 14, also crushed two vertebrae in the middle of his back and required five hours of intensive surgery in a specialist theater to treat his life-threatening injuries.

Mum Julie, 44, has urged all cyclists to wear helmets and believes Grady would not be alive if he hadn’t been wearing his.

Grady said: “I always wear my helmet but this has changed my life and now I always will.

Grady Russell is lucky to be alive after breaking every bone in his face after stacking his bike.  Source: SWNS/MegaGrady Russell is lucky to be alive after breaking every bone in his face after stacking his bike.  Source: SWNS/Mega

Grady Russell is lucky to be alive after breaking every bone in his face after stacking his bike. Source: SWNS/Mega

“It was quite scary, well, it was really scary actually – all my friends were really worried about me.

“It’s scary to realize that all this has happened, but I really want to be riding my bike again soon.

“It’s just what I do, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t cycle, I’d definitely be bored all the time if I couldn’t – I know I need to take a break for now because this has been pretty bad.”

Grady was at a local skateboard park in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, on his BMX on September 29 when he crashed head-on into a 10ft ramp.

Mum Julie, who is a transporter for a law firm, rushed to the scene when she got a call from a panicked boy saying Grady had been in an accident.

She said: “It’s an absolute miracle that he survived, I call him my iron man because he was so brave.

Grady's mother said the teenager survived Grady's mother said the teenager survived

Grady’s mother said the teenager survived “an absolute miracle”. Source: SWNS/Mega

“The guy who called me was at the skatepark with Grady and he said that Grady had lost a lot of blood and some teeth, it sounded terrible and I drove right over.”

When Julie arrived at the scene, a paramedic was already attending to Grady and his father Stuart, 52, was calling another ambulance.

Julie said: “There was blood everywhere and his face was an absolute mess.

“Grady kept saying, ‘Apple? I am dying?”

“The ambulance came and they put a neck brace on him, put him on the stretcher and into the ambulance.

“I got in the ambulance with him and he went straight to the hospital.

Surgeons spent five hours resetting the bones to restore the structure of Brady's face.  Source: SWNS/MegaSurgeons spent five hours resetting the bones to restore the structure of Brady's face.  Source: SWNS/Mega

Surgeons spent five hours resetting the bones to restore the structure of Brady’s face. Source: SWNS/Mega

“Stuart drove in the back, he was seen straight away in hospital and the doctor said he should see a specialist.

“I went with him to Addenbrookes where he was having a CT scan and went straight into theatre.

“It was a life or death situation and I was terrified, I didn’t leave them the whole time – I have to thank The Sick Children’s Trust for providing me with accommodation throughout Grady’s time in hospital.”

Grady was placed in an induced coma and was on a ventilator to breathe for him while he recovered in the hospital.

Grady fractured his eye sockets, cheekbones and nose and split the roof of his mouth and both upper and lower jaws.

Six metal plates were inserted into Brady's face.  Source: SWNS/MegaSix metal plates were inserted into Brady's face.  Source: SWNS/Mega

Six metal plates were inserted into Brady’s face. Source: SWNS/Mega

Julie said: “He had to have six metal plates screwed into different parts of his jaw and a probe inserted into his skull to check the pressure inside his head.

“He’s been on morphine, muscle relaxants, everything – he just came out today and made an amazingly quick comeback because he really is so fit.

“Grady spends every spare second on the bike and is desperate to get back, but the doctors say he has to wait at least until next year and will have to wear a full face helmet if and when he does.

“He’d just had his braces removed the day before the accident, and now we’ve found out that if he’d still had them on, he probably would have lost more teeth.”

After five hours of surgery to restore Grady’s facial structure, doctors are still uncertain about Grady’s future, but are amazed at his speedy recovery.

“When Grady is over 18 he will be able to get porcelain teeth – for now we are taking it one step at a time and every day he is getting so much better.

“Obviously one of the main things Grady is worried about is the permanent damage to his face, but he’s getting better every day.

“Doctors have also alerted us to other possible future problems, such as chronic fatigue and loss of concentration, which we need to warn the school to watch out for.

“He will have to be slowly introduced to school over a few weeks, first just for shorter days and then full days but with longer breaks.

“I’m so thankful he was wearing a helmet, the doctors said his head injury would have been much worse if he wasn’t wearing one.”

Julie said she thought the council should put up signs about the importance of wearing a helmet when using the ramps.

She looks forward to thanking the boys who used Grady’s finger to unlock her phone and called her when he was hurt.

Julie said: “I would like to thank the two lads who were very quick to take my son’s phone and make the effort to call me and then call an ambulance.

“Their quick thinking probably saved my son’s life.”

A spokesman for Huntingdonshire District Council said: “The council takes safety very seriously and we have signs to promote safety at Hill Rise skate park and all parks managed by the district council.

“We are very concerned to learn of this accident and wish Grady a full and speedy recovery.”

The spokesperson added: “We are happy to work with his parents to raise awareness about wearing life-saving helmets.”

Grady, who is 6’2, was doing an aerial stunt at the Hillrise ramps in Cambridgeshire and was rushed to Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

He was then transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Brother Harvey, 16, is relieved to have his brother, who is a pupil at St Ivo’s School, back at his home in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.