According to Lisa Parsons, her grandson Nixon Parsons had successful surgery at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto following a dirt bike crash which occurred at the Burnt River Off-Road facility on Saturday, July 9. The boy was first taken to Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay but then airlifted to Buttonville Airport to be transported to Sick Kids.
Surgery included repairs to his pallet, nose, orbital bone and a plate in his cheekbone. He also lost his teeth in the crash. However, the eight-year-old remains sedated and requires several breathing tubes, but family say he is responding to touch.
“With the plate in the roof of his mouth, they were able to turn it by 45 degrees and pop it back in — so that was a massive miracle,” Parsons told Global News Peterborough on Wednesday. “Because they would have had to replace it with a fake one. It’s like a little miracle; it’s a miracle that he lived.”
In a Facebook post, Nixon’s mother Bennica Brown says the surgery went “really well.”
“One big win for our champion with more to come,” she said. “I can’t find the words to express our gratefulness for EVERY SINGLE message, call, email, donation that we have received.”
The crash remains under investigation. City of Kawartha Lakes OPP reported Nixon was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Parsons says Nixon and his dad Jake Parsons were at the track for a practice family fun run day — not a race. Nixon reportedly drove his dirt bike over a jump and then spectators saw another rider waving frantically to indicate a fellow rider was down.
Parsons said her son Jake ran to find the dirt bike on top of his son and his new bike helmet was smashed.
“They’re thinking the next kid who came over must have landed on Nixon’s face — or the bike landed on his face — we don’t know,” said Lisa. “The front of his helmet was torn off. And he was knocked unconscious.”
Parsons says Jake had recently purchased a new helmet and neck guard for Nixon who has been a dirt bike fan since he was a baby. Parsons noted they bought him a battery-operated bike as a toddler that he still sometimes ‘whips around’ on.
Parsons says her grandson’s dirt bike skills were improving and he had recently begun doing races, joining his older brother Colson, 16, his father and his aunt Brooke and her children.
“He couldn’t have been outfitted better,” said Parsons. “You can’t put a price on safety … He had the best of the best (equipment) on. Jake never spares a dime on that stuff.”
Donations and support
Nixon wears No. 20 for races — prompting a hashtag #20strong on social media as support from friends, family and strangers pours in.
“We haven’t been able to respond to every (message) but we have been taking breaks to read them all when we can and it just means the world to us to know how much everyone loves our special boy,” said Brown in a Facebook post. “The power of prayer and community is helping us manage the devastation.”
Parsons says the response has been “overwhelmingly wonderful” for her grandson who is also an avid fan of the Peterborough Petes and Peterborough Lakers and plays hockey, lacrosse and snowboards.
“It’s an eye-opener — something I have never seen in my life,” said Parsons of the outpouring.
To support Nixon’s parents during their stay at SickKids — only one parent can visit at a time — the family is accepting donations and gifts via e-transfer to email@example.com. Donations will cover the cost of food, hotel stays and bills as they are away from home.
“It has been generous — it’s really heartwarming to know so many people care,” said Parsons. “So it changes you as a person sitting on this side. In the future this will make us a lot more compassionate to other people in this position when you see such an outpouring of prayers and generous people. It’s been wonderful.”
“It sort of helps to take off the edge off the horror we’re in right now,” she added. “It helps keep your mind on something other that the devastation of him laying there.”
Parsons says her grandson has a drive and passion for anything he attempts.
“He’s so over the top — he’s got such a strong will and heart,” she said. “That, hopefully, will help in this situation.