Four Year Old Boy Fights for Life in 2009

By Melinda Skutnick | Mooresville Tribune

I was recently browsing the internet and found this article about a four year old boy who fought for his life after a horrible lawn mower accident. I wanted to share, the website where the article was found is

Published: April 29, 2009

A four-year-old Mooresville boy is fighting for his life after being injured by a lawn mower April 22.

Preston Loyd was playing in the yard of his Corona Circle home when he was accidentally run over by a lawn mower operated by his grandfather.

Preston is the son of Mooresville residents Ashton and Cinamon Loyd, and a preschooler at Peninsula Baptist Church.

“My father did not know Preston was near, and accidently backed over him,” Ashton Loyd wrote on a Web site where he is keeping friends and neighbors updated on Preston’s condition.

With extensive injuries, especially to his left side, Preston was immediately airlifted to Carolina Medical Center’s Levine Children’s Hospital where he has remained in critical condition since last Wednesday.

“I have to find somewhere that this is in God’s plan for our family,” Ashton Loyd told the Tribune Tuesday.

“This is a literal worldwide awakening of prayer for this little boy that has brought people to God. He’s brought people closer to their families. This is so much bigger than this horrible thing that we’ve suffered.”

After Preston arrived at the hospital, surgeons operated for several hours to repair immediate damage and control bleeding. In that trauma surgery, Preston lost his left kidney and his spleen. That evening, Loyd said a doctor told him, “‘The best news I can give you is he’s not supposed to be alive right now and he is.’ ”

Since the accident, surgeons have connected Preston’s damaged esophagus to his rectum, providing a line for digestion. However, Loyd said that without a stomach – it was irreparably damaged in the accident – the four-year-old’s food intake will be much smaller than normal.

Currently, Preston is being fed via a feeding tube until the repairs to his digestive system heal.

A neurosurgeon fitted Preston’s brain with a monitor and catheter to reduce some of the pressure on his brain, Loyd said.

“The brain’s (swelling) has nothing to do with the hit,” he noted. “When the brain is deprived of oxygen for a period of time, even though it may be brief, you’ve got some swelling.”

Neurological damage is unclear at this point, Loyd said, adding that his son’s internal cranial pressure (ICP) is being continually monitored. Preston has remained sedated and on a ventilator since the accident. Only when his ICP stabilizes and remains stable will he be weaned from his sleeping state.

Additionally, a plastic surgeon was consulted and an orthopedic surgeon made repairs to the child’s elbow, including his tricep muscle. Ashton said that in comparison to other damage, the arm injury was minimal.

A big concern of doctors is infection that could be caused by grass and dirt in Preston’s wounds, Loyd said.

“We need to pray for no intrusion of infection,” he said, adding that several other concerns exist including his son’s higher-than-normal body temperature and the fear of pneumonia. The family also waits for the four-year-old’s brain synapses to properly fire and for him to “start returning to normal cognition.”

Cinamon Loyd said the family can do little more than take it one day at a time.

“We are just prayerful that we are continuing to trudge onward and that our little boy will be home with us soon,” she said.

No long-term prognosis has been made yet for Preston, she said, but the family’s hopes are high as they rely on faith and doctors to heal their youngest child.

Following the surgery to repair Preston’s digestive system, one doctor told the family that ” ‘if he can heal neurologically, he can be a little boy again,’ ” Ashton Loyd said.

“To me that means his long-term prognosis is that he’ll be running around again, kicking, eating a lot of ice cream,” he said as he talked about his son, although he quickly noted that the family truly does not know yet what their four-year-old’s life will be like.

“People just need to keep praying that he’s going to be healed. We are still so in need for his healing,” Loyd said, mentioning that their faith has not only helped them throughout this ordeal, but has created a miracle in keeping Preston alive.

“God has brought us through this and we’re believing in God’s miracles.”

Cinamon Loyd said she hopes others learn from this incident and remain aware of the dangers lawn mowers present.

“We want people to be really aware of how careful they need to be this summer when they’re mowing their lawns and outside with their children, that this can happen so quickly,” she said, adding that several people have come to the hospital to tell the Loyds that they’ve experienced a similar accident.

“It’s so much more prevalent than any of us realize.”

With family, friends and many in the community continually inquiring about their son’s health, the Loyd family created a Web site through Caring Bridge, which offers “free, personalized Web sites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery.”

Through that domain, Ashton Loyd said the family is able to offer up-to-date information about their son’s progress as well as receive messages of support from those who access the site. As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 65,000 hits were logged by visitors.

“I again must impress that we are not out of the woods at all,” Loyd said in one of his Caring Bridge updates. “In my father’s term, the tree is on the ground, but we have to now get it out.”

For more information about Preston and his progress, visit

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