Joe's story

“We can’t thank the air ambulance, the staff that cleared the park and all the team at Sheffield Children’s Hospital enough. Joe wouldn’t be here without them”.

It was a normal sunny Saturday afternoon when 14 year-old schoolboy Joe Boyer was struck by a motorcycle when returning from a kick-about with his friends at his local park.

The motorcycle collided with Joe at the side of a pedestrian crossing in April 2016. His injuries were so severe that he was pronounced dead at the scene.

However, several factors came together to save Joe’s life. Two off-duty police officers witnessed the accident and were able to provide immediate medical assistance. An air ambulance was already in the air after transporting a patient to the nearby Chesterfield Hospital and by chance had a brain injury specialist on board.

Joe was immediately transported to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where the facilities team had to rush to clear a wedding from the adjacent Weston Park in order for the helicopter to land.

When Joe arrived at the Emergency Department, the extent of his injuries quickly became apparent. In addition to a severe brain injury, Joe also had third-degree burns, femoral fractures, a fractured pelvis and spine as well as significant damage to his kidneys, lungs and spleen.

“The only thing he didn’t break was one arm” Mum Marie painfully recalls; “in the eight hours after Joe’s admission, the medical team had to resuscitate Joe four times. We thought we’d lost him but they kept bringing him back to life”.

Joe spent the next two weeks in a coma and spent a month in recovery at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, relying on the Intensive Care Unit and the Burns Ward. His discharge was only the start of Joe’s journey, as the brain injury meant has had to learn to walk, talk and eat again.

“Physically Joe has mended really well. The brain injury continues to affect his short term memory, but he has managed to take his GCSE’s which is a huge achievement” Marie added.

The Children’s Hospital Charity has launched an appeal to build a new Helipad and expand the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, to help children requiring critical care such as Joe.

Mum Marie said: “If Sheffield Children’s Hospital can get their own Helipad, patients can get into the hospital quickly and avoid the problems of landing in the park. Minutes matter in these situations- several things came together to save Joe, but other families might not be so lucky”.

As for Joe, he is due to start a cookery course at his local college as he looks to fulfill his lifelong dream to become a chef. Whatever the future holds, his family remain indebted to the medical staff that saved his life:

“We can’t thank the air ambulance, the staff that cleared the park and all the team at Sheffield Children’s Hospital enough. Joe wouldn’t be here without them”.

How your money helps

£10 could create more places to play in the Emergency Department.

£30 could help expand the waiting room to four times its current size.

£50 could create two dedicated triage areas so our nurses have a space with everything they need.

£75 could help build more treatment, consultancy and examination rooms.

Everything we fund is over and above the NHS provision. Our hospital is testament to the dedication of staff, the generosity of our donors and the courage of our children. We’ll never stop striving to make it better.