The beginning was a bit after 7 last night. We'd eaten dinner and I'd changed into my pyjamas and was watching TV. My phone rang - it was Gillian, Josh's friend. She was frantic. She gave me a very rushed, shaky message about Josh bleeding and something about a fire. I tried to find out more details but all I really got was that he'd been at work and a fire had broken out and he was hurt. Gillian was waiting for an ambulance.
Iven and I jumped into the car with a first aid kit and headed off to his work. We were almost there when Gillian rang again to say they were just about to leave in the ambulance to the hospital so we told her we'd meet them there. But we were so close to his workplace that we detoured by there to have a look. There was smoke pouring out of the building and emergency workers everywhere.
The trip to the hospital involved a detour through McDonalds to use their facilities. Damn my nervous intestines. But eventually (after a few u-turns because we weren't sure where the hospital was) we arrived and managed to find a park right outside.
The receptionist told us that he was being assessed so we just had to wait. My parents turned up as well as two of Josh's wonderful friends. And together we waited and waited and waited.
His ambulance driver came out and gave us a brief over-view of what was happening. He'd been caught in his work area when a fire had broken out down the hall. The only exit from the room was close to the fire so Josh had had to break his way out of the room through toughened glass. He'd inhaled some of the smoke and they were concerned about his airways. He had lots of cuts and embedded glass - a really big one at the back of his head and all up his arms and his hands. And there was a chance that he'd fractured some of the bones in his hand.
A few hours after arriving we were finally allowed in to see him. His arms were a mess - covered in blood. The doctor told us that his face had been the same way but they'd cleaned him up. He was pale and a little shaky but he was really hungry and hunger's a good sign. We stayed with him - his parents, grandparents, Gillian, Pouria and Steve - while the doctor cleaned out the glass and stitched up the cuts. He was obviously in pain at times but he just grimaced and dealt with it. He's one tough boy.
Comparing war wounds with his Grandpa while being stitched up.
They'd cut off his clothes leaving him only in his undies. And his choice for the day? The Superman undies of course. I couldn't have thought of a more appropriate pair.
He was wheeled off for an x-ray and we found out that he's fractured the same metacarpal that he broke last year. He may need more surgery.
Josh's good hand
Three staples in the back of his head
We got home at about 2am after driving by Josh's workplace again to look at the damage. It was cordoned off with crime scene tape and two policemen were guarding it. And when we stopped to talk to them one of the policemen turned out to be our neighbour.
Today we went back out for Josh and Gillian to give their statements to the police and firemen. It looks like it was caused by an electrical fault in one of the director's offices. Half of the building will have to be demolished. We saw the glass that Josh had broken through, in daylight. It was a huge sheet of toughened glass and the firemen told Josh that the jagged bit at the top had fallen down during the night. He was so lucky that it hadn't come down when he was escaping.
The fire brigade assessing the damage
The middle window is the one he broke through.
And I'm tired and shaky, emotional but incredibly grateful that it hadn't been any worse.It's hard to listen to your son tell you that he thought he was going to die. In future I won't be letting him out of the house without being totally covered in bubble wrap.