As you can see in the video, the walker kept him from falling down when he'd run into stuff and he loved the game. So, Heather and I decided to stay with her folks for a few days rather than going straight home from the hospital. On Friday evening (the day after we got there) her parents went to concert, so it was just us and the two kids. I had just finished feeding October and putting him in his pajamas. I went to the kitchen to get him a sippy cup, and in those 15 seconds he found the walker, climbed into it, and fell down the stairs. Here is the account that Heather wrote for her family newsletter:
...Shayne and I (who were the only people home) didn’t see the fall, but we heard the back of his head hit the floor at the bottom of the stairs. He was crying hard (good sign), bleeding from his mouth (bad sign), and his left eye was immediately sealed shut and swelling fast (uh oh). We very quickly realized this was an ER visit. I was grabbing stuff for me and the baby, too, but Shayne wanted to just take him and go—then we realized the blood from his mouth was thick and gooey (we thought it maybe included some tissue), so I decided I didn’t want him to have an airway problem while strapped in the back seat with Shayne up front (plus I was worried about a spinal fracture), so I called 911 and requested an ambulance (the EMT told me I made a good call). They put a C collar on him and strapped him down to a board. He was obviously hurting, crying, and probably scared, but he tried hard to be cooperative with the multiple strangers (he did really well). Shayne rode in the back of the ambulance while I rode up front. Amy Hess (Mom’s neighbor) came over and drove our car with 3-day-old Isis in the back seat. (We didn’t want to bring her into the germ-filled ER [in fact, once there, they told her “No way is that baby coming inside here.”], but I didn’t want to stay home [especially since Toby was crying, “Mom, Mom” when I walked out of his field of vision], so Amy stayed in the car with the baby and called me whenever she needed a feeding.) At McKay-Dee, a CAT scan was done to assess spine, mouth, and eye bones. There is a displaced fracture in the orbital bone above his left eye, but no fracture to mouth or neck. Unfortunately, he had to keep the C collar on as a precaution (he hated it). After a while, they transferred us (via ambulance for October, with Shayne) to Primary Children’s Hospital for assessment of the eye and possible surgery. Mom and I drove separately; Dad drove Sister Hess home and got a load of supplies, clothes, etc. from home that Shauna had kindly gathered up for us.
We (Dad, Mom and I, and Shayne with October) got to Primary’s ER around 11:30pm (the accident happened around 7:30 or 8). They looked at the CAT scan and got him seen by an ophthalmologist. He said the eye looks uninjured (though the assessment was a bit hindered by the significant swelling), but the fracture’s displaced bone can touch and affect the muscle above his eye. They told us that surgery was a definite; it’s just a matter of who would perform it (either ENT or neurosurgery). They admitted him to a room with a crib (and a pull-out cot for Shayne). The staff was awesome with Tober.
(Shayne again:) Something is weird with the fonts in this post and it won't let me save my changes so, whatever. Anyway, we decided that I would stay over with Tober and that Heather would go home with Mom and Dad so she could take care of
He was checked out by ENT and neurosurgery and they both agreed that, based on the size and location of the fracture, surgery was not justified at this point unless his eye functioning was being affected. So, they had the ophthalmologist come back and dilate his eye to do a thorough assessment. Everything looked good, so we will not be doing surgery unless problems arise in the future. We have to follow up with them in 10 days to reassess his eye function.
Other than getting assessed by the 3 specialists, the only thing they were keeping us in the hospital for was to make sure he was not showing signs of concussion: vomiting, hypersomnia, seizures, loss of balance, change in behavior/appetite, etc. The good news was that he was acting completely normal. The bad news was that normal for him is super busy and getting into everything, which is a problem when you are confined to a small room filled with expensive medical and electronic equipment. The staff brought him a bunch of toys and balls and that helped, but by the afternoon I was struggling to keep him occupied. When I tried to put him down for a nap I laid him down and left the room for about 20 minutes. When I came back to check on him he was standing up and reaching over the bars to play with the IV and computer.
Overall, the main thing we learned is that Tober is a CHAMP! He was a total trooper with the pain, the fear, the multiple doctors, etc. Any time they asked him to do something (look here or there, open mouth, hold still for CAT scan, get an IV, etc.), he would do it easily—even when he wasn’t on pain meds. He also charmed every one of the medical workers who came in with his sign language and words and personality. When they were working on our discharge paperwork, I took a load of stuff down to the car and left him with our nurse. Our room was near the main desk, so he was out there playing with all the staff. When I came back the nurse said, “We have a problem. Everyone thinks he’s so cute that we don’t want him to leave.” We finally got released around 8:30pm and I was exhausted. He has been doing just great since then and we expect that he'll make a full recovery.