A woman is searching for a “guardian angel” who may have saved her son’s life after a terrifying fall at the Elora Gorge last weekend.
On Saturday Joanne Beckett, her two youngest children and her boyfriend were enjoying a walk in the gorge when her son Zakaria, 8, slipped and fell, banging his head on the edge of a rock.
“Mom, my head!” he screamed.
“I turned to see him crawling toward me, his scalp split down the centre, from the forehead right to the back,” Beckett said. over the phone from Barrie.
"At first I thought he'd lost an eye because there was so much blood. Then I saw that his scalp had split open about five centimetres wide and I could see his skull."
Adrenaline took over. Beckett picked her son up up in her arms and carried him up 60 steps to the top of the gorge where someone called 911.
Zakaria was bleeding badly from a head wound that was 24 centimetres long.
That's when the guardian angel appeared.
A group had been rappelling nearby and one of them was a member of the armed forces with medical training.
"He was amazing. He just took over the situation," Becket said of the soldier, who she said was in his mid-to-late 20s.
That man assessed Zakaria, kept everyone calm, bandaged Zak’s head with a special head bandage from a first aid kit he had with him, then covered it with a compression bandage.
Not only did he provide medical assistance, he then cradled Zakaria and spoke softly to him to help keep him calm.
“When the ambulance arrived the paramedic marvelled over the amazing job the medic had done,” Beckett said. “The paramedic said Zak could have bled out if it hadn't been for the medic."
Her son spent nine hours at Groves Memorial Hospital where Beckett said he received amazing care. Luckily, there was no fracture or concussion and he is now gingerly recovering at home.
But Beckett, who ended up fainting at the hospital once the adrenaline had worn off, never got the name of the military medic and is now searching for him to thank him personally.
She took to Facebook Wednesday night to ask for the public’s help.
“I can never express how grateful our family is to him. My children are my greatest treasure in life, I can't imagine my life without any of them. The medic not only saved my son, but a little brother, a grandson, a nephew and a friend. We can never repay him,” Beckett wrote in a Facebook post.
As as of mid-afternoon Thursday had been shared almost 7,000 times.
All she knows is that the man is from Toronto and is stationed in Alberta. She believes he had just been at Camp Borden for training.
"I understand if he doesn't want to be contacted, but I just never got to thank him personally and I just want to let him know that Zak's doing fine," Beckett said.
"It was quite the adventure."