Piece of toddler's skull removed after fall from couch

EDDIE THE EAGLE: Joanne Liberato with her 18-month-old son Eddie Kidd.
EDDIE THE EAGLE: Joanne Liberato with her 18-month-old son Eddie Kidd. John McCutcheon

A SIMPLE fall from a couch has left 18-month-old Eddie Kidd missing a section of his skull and facing a lifetime of ongoing surgeries.

Two months ago 18-month-old Eddie fell off the lounge in his Pacific Paradise home.

That small fall was followed by six weeks in hospital, three operations, two blood transfusions and a total 40 stitches to his head.

The toddler has had part of his skull removed, and the extent of his injuries is still unclear.

"I just remember hearing him scream and cry and I thought, 'he must be okay, people always say if they cry it means they're okay'," Joanne said.

Both Eddie's eyes went black almost immediately and a lump formed on his head.

Joanne rushed him to Nambour General Hospital.

As she was about to take him home, following four hours of surveillance, Eddie started to vomit and an emergency CT scan revealed bleeding to the brain and a fracture to his skull.

What unfolded was "chaos", Joanne said.

Eddie was airlifted to Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's hospital for emergency surgery.

The bleeding would not stop and blood tests revealed Eddie had haemophilia - a condition that keeps blood from clotting.

"If they didn't stop the bleeding he would have passed away," Joanne said.


HAPPY BOY: Eddie Kidd before the accident.
HAPPY BOY: Eddie Kidd before the accident. Contributed

The nightmare didn't end there.

A few days Eddie contracted the golden staph infection because of the bleeding.

In a matter of days he had a second operation, in which part of his skull was removed from the front of his head, cleaned of infection and replaced.

Two weeks passed and Eddie finally came home to his mum and three siblings, but less than a week later he contracted another infection.

Eddie returned to Lady Cilento where he had his third operation and the part of the skull was removed permanently.

The little boy is now waiting for a fourth operation to fit a new titanium plate in his skull to replace the missing piece of bone.

Joanne said this couldn't happen until he had been infection-free for six months.

In the meantime, he had been fitted with a helmet to protect his missing skull.

He can no longer take part in any sport or activities as the slightest bump could result in internal bleeding, and every time he underwent an operation he would need to receive anti-haemophilic medication called Factor VIII.


Eddie Kidd was your average happy and always cheeky 18 month old until a fall of the family couch at his Sunshine Coast home on the August 18.
Eddie Kidd was your average happy and always cheeky 18 month old until a fall of the family couch at his Sunshine Coast home on the August 18. Contributed

Joanne said they would carry the medication at all times.

"We're just trying to be as careful as possible," she said.

"His wound is still healing and he can't wear the helmet for too long because he sweats and it can cause infection," Joanne said.

"He goes from the highchair to the pram and has very little play. He can't even be in his cot without the helmet on so he's sleeping next to me.

"It's very hard for him, he just wants to run around with his brother and have fun," Joanne said.

"I'm living on tenterhooks watching over him."


Eddie Kidd has had three operations.
Eddie Kidd has had three operations. Contributed

Taking "each day at a time", Joanne said they spent six weeks in hospital and received a special visit from movie star Chris Hemsworth.

"We knew he was in the area, and before he arrived on our ward Eddie had a bleed come through and one of the nurses was bandaging him up," Joanne said.

"He said, 'I have some news for you, Chris Hemsworth is just about to turn up', and I said, 'well you better bloody hurry up and bandage his head'.

"He really put a smile on all the kids' faces, but also the mums' too.

"He said to me that his kids run around the lounge all the time and he could see how something like this could happen."


Eddie with his mum Joanne as they met movie star Chris Hemsworth.
Eddie with his mum Joanne as they met movie star Chris Hemsworth. Contributed

Nicknamed Eddie the Eagle because he flew off the couch and now wears a blue helmet like the famed British skier, Joanne said everyone on the hospital ward had grown to love Eddie and his bubbly personality.

"He's been connected to IV drips, and couldn't leave the ward so we would walk around Lady Cilento and wave to all the kids and blow them kisses," Joanne said.

"All the nurses just love him, they adore him."

Joanne said they had an appointment in four week's time at Lady Cilento where they would meet with neurosurgeons to see what was next.

He could need repeated operations through to adulthood as his skull continues to grow.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up by Eddie's cousin James Burnham in hope of raising funds for his ongoing care, and awareness about how quickly an accident like this could happen.

James said the money would help ease the financial strain on Eddie's family as they awaited operations to repair his skull.

Visit or search Help Eddie Kidd on Facebook.

Topics:  brain injury editors picks lady cilento children's hopsital pacific paradise surgery

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