Thomas Skrzypinski suffered a fractured eye socket when the pencil penetrated his top pallet. (Supplied: Queensland Ambulance Service)
A lullaby helped keep a toddler calm after a pencil lodged in his skull at a family Christmas party on the Gold Coast, his mother has revealed.
- Thomas Skrypinski accidentally stuck a pencil through the roof of his mouth at a family Christmas party
- His mother kept him calm by singing to him and stopped him from pulling the pencil out
- Today they were reunited with the paramedics who helped save his life
Bri Skrypinski said her worst nightmare came true when her 14-month-old son Thomas fell with a pencil in his mouth on November 26, 2016.
“We were at a family gathering and we heard an almighty scream, and a pencil went through Thomas’s face,” she said.
“Shock was our initial reaction, then we went into protective mode.”
The pencil penetrated Thomas’s top pallet and fractured his eye socket.
The family made a triple-0 call and an ambulance was sent to the Jacobs Well property on the northern Gold Coast.
“They talked us through everything, what we needed to do to be able to keep him calm,” Ms Skrypinski said.
She said the ambulance operator stressed they shouldn’t pull the pencil out themselves.
But Thomas was panicked and writhing around — so she sang him his favourite lullaby.
“I rocked him and I sang Twinkle, Twinkle [Little Star],” she said.
“That’s what we did until we heard those wonderful sounding sirens, which you don’t really want to hear, but it was like magic.”
Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedic Adriana Barnes was the first on the scene.
“We pulled up into the driveway and I saw Bri standing there — she walked out with Thomas in her arms,” Ms Barnes said.
She said Ms Skrypinski was calm, and stopping her son from grabbing at the pencil.
“When you have on object stuck like that, everyone’s instinct would be to pull it out,” she said.
“She was doing an incredible job just holding him and stopping him from trying to do that.”
The paramedic said it was a situation she had never encountered before.
“You tend to go back to basics and start thinking systematically, ‘what do we need to do?’,” she said.
In the critical first few minutes after the accident and during the tense drive to the hospital, Ms Skrypinski continued to sing Thomas’s favourite lullaby.
“I think it helped me as well. I remember her singing and I was like, ‘oh that’s nice’,” Ms Barnes said.
Bri Skrypinski says Thomas nearly lost his eyesight from the accident. (ABC News: Elise Kinsella)
Thomas spent five days in hospital and almost lost his eyesight.
“The ophthalmologist told us during surgery that it was very, very close to his optic nerve,” Ms Skrypinski said.
Thomas can still see, but must now wear glasses due to the muscle damage around his eye.
Today, almost three years after the terrible event, the Skrypinski family met with the paramedics to thank them for their help.
“I think it just hangs over your head that these wonderful people don’t get thanked enough for their efforts,” Ms Skrypinski said.
“They go through this every day, you know — they put people, patients first.”