MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A sledding accident that has left a little boy in critical condition.
Simon Caquelin, 7, of St. Paul was hospitalized Saturday after his sled hit a tree.
“It was his first alone camping trip, without mom and dad,” the boy’s father Matt Caquelin said. “Talking about it for weeks leading up to it. Every bit of every day was excitement aimed at that.”
A weekend trip to the Fred C. Anderson Boy Scout Camp in Western Wisconsin sounded like a dream come true to Simon — even his best friend was going.
“They were told it was a fresh coat of powder, so be sure to bring your sled,” Caquelin said.
Like most children who love the snow, they were enjoying going down hills. But shortly after they set out with the other scouts, Simon’s friend called out for help.
“He went, apparently, face first into the tree,” Caquelin said. “He fractured his skull in several places and his face, and broke his nose.”
Doctors at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare say Simon also suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“When you have a rambunctious, 7-year-old boy who is going out and you’re not with him, you say, ‘Don’t be that parent that is over-worried,” Caquelin said.
Researchers at Gillette have studied injuries from sledding accidents. Their conclusion: before heading to a sledding hill, children should strap on a helmet.
“I remember when I was young, no matter what you did, if you were wearing a helmet, it wasn’t cool,” Caquelin said. “Sitting here right now, it’s just so painfully obvious how important helmet safety is.”
Simon underwent a second surgery Tuesday and remains in critical condition. His family is now praying he makes a full recovery.
If you’d like to help the family, head to their CaringBridge page.