A six-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being struck in the head by a piece of steel that flew up from under a lawnmower.
Alex Hook, from Wisconsin, US, was playing outside his school on September 10 when the accident happened. The projectile was 12 inches long.
Mum and dad, Caryn and Kirbey Hook, are in pieces and remain with their son who is now in a medically induced coma in hospital.
Alex's aunt, Michelle Koertgen, 55, set up a fundraiser to help with medical costs and care for his brother Nathan, 10, who has special needs.
Caryn, 49, said: "When I arrived at the hospital the emergency room team were prepping him for the scan.
"He was already sedated and had several machines hooked up.
"I kept telling myself that I must be having a nightmare because that can't be my beautiful boy.
"Every day that goes by we thank the Lord that Alex is still with us and fighting for his life."
The family said a landscaper was mowing the grass behind Riverview Elementary in Silver Lake, Wisconsin where the children were playing.
At about 11:30am, the mower ran over a waste piece of rebar and it was projected towards the kids.
The metal projectile, believed to be 12 inches long and half an inch wide, struck Alex in the back of his head.
He was knocked unconscious and started to have seizures so the school contacted Caryn and the emergency services.
The mum-of-two said: "I was in total shock but composed myself immediately and rushed to the school.
"I had no idea the severity of his injury until I saw him on the ground bleeding from his head and convulsing.
"I really don't know what prevented me from fainting."
The boy was airlifted to the Children's Hospital of Milwaukee while paramedics tried to stabilise him.
A CT scan found he had a fractured skull, and that a piece had broken off and lodged into his brain causing a bleed.
He was taken for emergency surgery to remove the largest fragment and part of his skull to relieve the pressure.
He remains in a medically-induced coma as a bacterial infection causes a spike in his fever that puts dangerous pressure on his brain when he is woken up.
Caryn added: "The doctors said the first 72 hours were critical, but here we are a week later and he's still in critical condition.
"I read aloud the thousands of comments and prayers people are writing on the Facebook support page [to him].
"I hope he can hear me, so he knows how many people love him and are praying for a complete recovery.
"Don't let a day go by without hugging and telling your children you love them – life can change in the blink of an eye."
You can donate towards Alex's medical costs here.
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