‘It’s a Miracle’ Mom Says of Toddler’s Fall

By Patric Hedlund

The Frazier Park toddler who fell from a second story window last week was scraped and bruised, “but it is a miracle, compared to what could have happened, that he has no broken bones,” said his mother, Courtnie Culp of Santa Clara Trail.

She called The Mountain Enterprise on Saturday, Aug. 20 to report that her son, Gabriel, 2 was “okay,” and back home after being released from the hospital.

“He’s walking, talking and playing,” Culp reported, “he is completely normal, and then he has moments when he tells us that something hurts. Sometimes he gets lethargic and wants to sleep.”

Culp explained what she knows of how the accident happened.

“I had my back turned for two minutes, picking up gold fish (crackers) that had been spilled on the floor, and I told the kids (Brooke, 7 and Gabriel) to ‘go pick up your toys’” in the next room, to get ready for bed, Culp said, adding: “Brooke said he climbed up to stand on the windowsill,” and then fell out.

The child landed on the driveway of “dirt, rocks and pebbles,” his mother said. Firefighters, sheriff deputies and an ambulance responded.

Kern County Fire Department Captain Douglas Patterson said the toddler was taken via Hall Ambulance to Station 56 in Lebec where he was airlifted to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield.

Patterson said the boy was conscious, but appeared “to have enough difficulties that the decision was made to fly him rather take him via ground transport to the hospital.”

Courtnie Culp said the family was told at the Kern Medical Center that the worst may be that “there may be some minor bleeding and swelling in the brain.”

Culp said they would be taking Gabriel up to the children’s hospital in Madera, CA for an examination and results of the MRI and EEG tests.

The Children’s Hospital of Central California on Monday, Aug. 22 said that Gabriel had been there for tests but that he was not admitted.

The family is traveling as we go to press, and unavailable for a further update.

—Gary Meyer contributed reporting to this story

This is part of the August 26, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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