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Boy in horror accident that split pancreas in two is back playing football

William Turner spent seven weeks in hospital after falling off his scooter at the park

What to do in an emergency situation

A loving family have enjoyed a "normal" Christmas after last year's festivities were marred by a horrific accident that split her son's pancreas in two.

William Turner fell of his scooter at Rosliston Forestry Centre in August 2016, but was not given the all clear by doctors until almost 12 months later.

The seven-year-old's has since struggled with his energy levels and had to completely change his diet.

The Rolleston lad's family had a tough Christmas last year as they worried about his recovery.

But mum Emma Turner said this year's celebrations were much more relaxing.

She said: "Last year we were all just so tired really. He'd been discharged in October, then started back at school after the October half term.

"We built up from there, he started only an hour of lessons at a time, he even managed to do the school performance at Christmas, but he did have to come home after.

"Every year they go to the theatre at the school and I remember the teacher telling me he fell asleep half way through. This year he did get through it without drifting off.

"I think just as a family we were so tired last year, trying to put ourselves together again at a really stressful time.

"But we know so many people might not have that joy and aren't out in time for Christmas, and we don’t forget that. He's just our little boy, running and playing football again.

William Turner kept up his spirits throughout the seven weeks in hospital

"We're just hoping he can now be a happy little boy and grow up to be a strong, healthy man."

Mrs Turner said she is still discovering new challenges William faces, particularly in terms of his diet.

The 38-year-old said: "He's been really well. Starting to get a grips on things he can't eat, we're still learning about the fatty foods that he can't have.

"This is because the pancreas breaks down the fat. So anything fried, heavy cream in trifles and chip shop meals, he just can't stomach them.

"He does find it a bit hard at times, like the other week, he went to a party where they were having chips, so he didn't have them.

"For a seven-year-old boy to have to make that decision it's really quite sad. He understands the consequences of it. He's remarkable considering what he’s been through and no one really knew the outcome of it all.

"If he has to avoid a certain food, we'll accept it, we're just so happy his pancreas is working again. Fingers crossed he has now had his last surgery, and it is now just all about managing the food side of it all."

William was six when he suffered his accident during a strip to the forestry centre for a picnic with his family.

Mrs Turner was walking ahead of her son when she heard him scream.

She turned round to find the pale-looking boy hunched on the floor.  He went cold and passed out in her arms, before a first-aider was found and an ambulance called.

William was taken to Burton's Queen's Hospital, where he could not stop vomiting. A small round graze could be seen on his abdomen.

The youngster struggled to breathe and a series of tests, including an ultrasound and bloods, found amylase levels in his blood were high.

Amylase is a fluid made in the pancreas, so medics suspected something was wrong with William's.

Young William with father Simon, mother Emma and sisters Eleanor and Isobel

He was transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital, which specialises in treating children.

There, William was treated on the liver unit as his breathing deteriorated. He eventually had to wear a full face mask to feed oxygen into his lungs as they had begun collapsing.

Four days after the accident, William still could not eat, drink or urinate and his stomach began to bloat.

And a CT scan revealed the scooters handle had twisted as William fell and split his pancreas into two pieces.

An abdominal drain removed fluid and William had more chest drains.

Emma and husband Simon were given a room at Ronald McDonald House, next door to the hospital, where they were able to sleep and avoid travelling to and from their home.

The room was similar to a hotel with separate rooms for each person staying, and a communal lounge on each floor where family members could prepare and eat their own meals.

Emma and Simon also have two older daughters, Eleanor, 10, and Isobel, eight, who stayed with their grandparents for the seven weeks William was in hospital.

The girls were also able to stay with their parents at Ronald McDonald House so they could visit their brother.

Throughout his time at the hospital, William had three operations – two to fit the central line in his neck, which allowed for medicine to be administered and blood to be taken, and a third to attach two pigtail stents which helped to remove fluid.

In August, 2017, William had his fourth operation to remove the two stents, signalling that the pancreas had mended itself, knitting itself together with scar tissue.

William was kept at Birmingham Children's Hospital for roughly seven weeks

Following their ordeal, the Turner family made the decision to raise money to give back to the Ronald McDonald House at Birmingham Children's Hospital, which have them so much support throughout the traumatic year.

A target of £5,000 was set to sponsor a room at the house for three years. An incredible £5,200 was raised following a live music event at Burton Town Hall in September.

The Turner family unveiled a plaque at the Ronald McDonald House

The whole family went to the house on Friday, December 15 to unveil a plaque outside the sponsored room which reads: "This room has been proudly sponsored by William Turner and friends and family."

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas is a gland that sits just behind the stomach at the back of the abdomen.

Technically, the pancreas is two glands mixed together to form one organ, so has two main functions – the first is to help with digestion, it creates enzymes which break down food in the stomach.

Secondly, the pancreas creates hormones, including insulin, which controls the blood sugar level, which is the amount of sugar in the blood.

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Other than insulin, glucagon is also made in the pancreas, which raises blood sugar level, just as insulin lowers it. This is to regulate the level of blood sugar in someone’s blood.

Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common form of cancer and begins when abnormal cells in the pancreas grow out of control and form a tumour.

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