Bradley Willoughby, 16, was wearing earphones inside his helmet – causing horrific injuries as the cable snagged on a fence and cut deep into his throat.
He had been practicing jumps on his motorbike when he landed heavily, jamming the throttle which propelled him into a barbed wire fence.
His horrified mother, Angie, found him badly hurt with his left foot dangling from his smashed ankle and barbed wire lacerations all over his body – but the most gruesome injury was to his neck.
The headphones he was wearing had a rubber coating that was sheared off from the force of the bike, revealing sturdy copper wires beneath. With the headphones in his ears under his helmet and unable to dislodge, the cord wrapped around his neck and sliced into him.
Bradley’s father had to rip the headphones out from the gash in his son’s throat.
Bradley’s parents did an exemplary job keeping the boy alive. They removed the headphones and then kept Bradley awake and calm as they first waited for a chopper to arrive, and then again throughout the entire process of receiving stitches.
According to The Sun, his mother had some intense words for other parents:
“No one realizes, but inside the headphone cord is fine copper wire which has cut through some of the muscle. He’s very lucky he didn’t cut his trachea … None of us thought earphones could be so dangerous … You think they’re just earphones, you can break them with your hands, cut them with a pair of scissors, you never think they can do something like this. But under the right circumstances, with the right pressure they can.”
While it has been a difficult couple of months for Bradley and his family, Ms. Willoughby wanted to make sure other parents wouldn’t let their children make the same mistake as her son.
Bradley’s cuts and scrapes will heal. His broken tibia and fibula will mend, though they will require plates and screws to stabilize his bones. Even the gash on his neck will close, and eventually, the scar will fade. But neither Bradley nor his parents will ever forget the lesson they’ve learned.
“Do not wear wired earphones under a motorbike helmet. It’s potentially life-threatening,” said his mother. The whole family hopes no one else has to learn this lesson the hard way.