The family of an 11-year-old boy from Limerick, who was the first child to be airlifted from the Southwest of Ireland directly to the specialist neurosurgical centre at CHI Temple Street under new trauma protocols, appealed for people to support CRITICAL.

Orin Hough from Carrigkerry in Co Limerick sustained serious head injuries when he was knocked down as he crossed the road in Listowel, Co. Kerry on the afternoon of Saturday, May 29th 2021. An off-duty firefighter arrived at the scene and alerted emergency services including the National Ambulance Service who immediately tasked the CRITICAL Air Ambulance. 

Tom Hough, Orin’s dad, said the emergency services were fantastic.

The Air Ambulance crew were absolutely brilliant. When they arrived at the scene they took charge and organised everything. They were so professional and reassuring and stayed completely calm throughout. Orin was brought by ambulance to the local rugby pitch where the Air Ambulance helicopter was waiting. Orin was stabilised and we took off for Dublin. James, one of the Air Ambulance crew, sat across from me and was constantly monitoring Orin, it was hard to hear but James kept giving me the thumbs up to let me know everything was okay. The difference the helicopter made for Orin was unbelievable.”

A team of medics was ready and waiting for Orin when the helicopter arrived at Temple Street and Orin was brought straight in for scans. 

Orin’s mum Caitriona was in a Limerick City shopping centre when she got the call from her husband.

“I could barely hold the phone, I was shaking so much when I heard the Air Ambulance was on its way to them. A lady who happens to work for An Garda Siochana was shopping at the time and she stayed with me. She was so calm and even arranged for the Gardaí to bring me to Dublin. I didn’t get her name so I have never been able to thank her.

When I arrived at the hospital, I could barely see Orin because there were so many people working on him. He didn’t need surgery, but they were ready and waiting if he did. Without CRITICAL Orin would have been taken to the nearest hospital, to Limerick, to be stabilised before being transferred to Dublin. The staff at Temple Street are phenomenal at what they do, but the CRITICAL Air Ambulance was
absolutely vital too, time really is of the essence when you’re dealing with head injuries and your brain is bleeding. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if Orin had to travel the long distance to Dublin by road.” 

Orin spent a week in a coma in the ICU, he was paralysed on his left side and couldn’t speak for several weeks. Caitriona said Orin eventually made a phenomenal recovery,

“Orin’s accident happened on the 29th of May, he left Temple Street on the 13th of August and returned to school in September on a phased basis. He could only walk short distances and went to school in a wheelchair. He spent another 10 weeks at the National Rehab Centre in Dublin and was discharged at the start of March. He can now run around with his friends, do PE and is looking forward to playing football again.