Video: Hailsham Boy, 9, raises alarm after dad breaks back

A boy raised the alarm after he found his dad lying unconscious with a broken back in Friston Forest after a mountain biking crash.

Brave Owen Woods, aged nine, was out for a morning ride with his dad, rounded a corner and saw his dad sprawled across the forest floor on Sunday May 18.

Boy saves dad after mountain bike accident. Adrian and Owen Woods

Boy saves dad after mountain bike accident. Adrian and Owen Woods

Instead of panicking, Owen lifted the bike off his dad, pulled a mobile phone out of his dad’s bag and rang his mum Lisa.

Because they were in the forest, there was no signal so Owen spotted another mountain biker and asked him to help.

The mountain biker, whose name was Paul, called Owen’s mum and the emergency services.

It was established that Adrian had broken his back but, incredibly, escaped being paralysed.

He should be back to full health in about 12 weeks and even intends to get back on his bike, although he is planning to take it slowly.

Both Lisa and Adrian said how proud they were of Owen for handling such a difficult situation and they thanked Paul for his help.

Adrian, 40, of Stroma Gardens, Hailsham, said: “To have the presence of mind to pull the bike off, pull the phone out and ring his mum. I couldn’t be prouder. I think he did a fantastic job.

“I was in a fair state to be honest. It’s a good job he did.

“I actually broke my back and was knocked unconscious for about half an hour.

“I might ride a little bit more slowly and a little bit more gently.”

Lisa, 37, added: “It makes me well up talking about it.

“We are so impressed with him. He is nine years old and found his dad unconscious in the middle of the wood.

“A few inches to the left and Adrian would have lost feeling in his legs.

“He would have had nerve damage - it was that close.

“We are still in a bit of shock as to how close it was.

“But he is not paralysed. He doesn’t remember what happened.”

Lisa explained the break in Adrian’s back was a stable break, which meant other bones were supporting it.

Adrian broke the lower part of his back, close to the spinal chord.

Owen, who is a pupil at Hawkes Farm Primary School in Hailsham, said: “It shocked me seeing him on the floor.

“I haven’t been back to Friston Forest but I have been out on my bike in front of the house but it brought it all back to me.”

A video interview with Adrian and Owen is available at