KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Lucas Doyle, playful, outgoing and quite the casanova at just 5 years old.
“He was flirting with the flight nurses when he was on the helicopter,” said his 32-year-old father Justin Doyle during an interview at Bronson Children’s Hospital.
Two weeks ago, Lucas' life was forever changed, he said. Lucas was being the active kid he was when he snuck up behind a relative who was mowing the lawn and got caught in the blades. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, via helicopter, and into surgery.
“The intestines were ripped out completely from the accident,” said Justin. “He’ll need to have a micro surgery on his abdomen area to close that up. Hopefully in the next year or so we can get put on the donor list and get the bowel transplant.”
That's the goal, Justin said, to get on that list. He will never forget the moment dispatchers called him and told him what happened. He and his oldest son were at a Michigan State football game at the time of the accident. They immediately left Lansing to be by Lucas' side. His wife Susan, who was away in Nevada, caught the next flight home.
“Surgeries, cleaning out the wounds, making sure everything’s healing properly, like the skin graphs,” said Justin about Lucas’ life since being admitted into the hospital. “We find out tomorrow how everything’s proceeding.”
The doctors and nurses at Bronson have been “tremendous” Justin said, always asking how they can make their stay a little easier. His family has been helpful too. An aunt created a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses.
“His siblings have been here,” said Justin. “He’s got a twin sister. He’s got an older brother as well. Seeing them has helped a little bit but of course being stuck in a bed you can't be a normal 5-year-old.”
Recently, Lucas has been telling his dad that he wants to run around again. He's even saying that he wants to go to school, which is something Justin's never heard him say. But he just wants to leave the hospital and go home.
“We brought him some toys,” said Justin. “We brought him movies to watch. You know, just to comfort him,”
Since the accident happened, Justin said there’s been an outpouring of love from friends, family and the community. Over $13,000 have been raised on the GoFundMe page, a lot of it coming from people he doesn’t even know.
“It’s very humbling,” said Justin. “There is lots of good people out there. And most of the time, all we hear about is the negative in this world and there’s a lot of positive too.”