IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A two-year-old boy run over by a lawn mower is improving rapidly and doing well, according to his parents and doctors at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. An extended family member accidentally backed over Kayden Emery with a riding lawn mower on July 23. Kayden lost his left foot and has lacerations and fractures on his left leg, but his family says those hardships aren’t stopping their energetic son.
“He’s walking with his walker, crawling, and he’s standing to play,” Kariann Emery, Kayden’s mother, said from the EIRMC pediatric unit. “Everything he’s doing has been a miracle.”
Kayden is on pain medication and tires easily, but his father, Derek Emery, said the loss of his foot doesn’t seem to bother him. He plays with his toys, rides in his wagon, and loves to go outside.
“He’s aware that he doesn’t have a foot and he’s aware he’s got some limitations but it’s amazing how he’s handling it,” Derek said.
Doctors have performed skin grafts on Kayden and his leg is constantly hooked to a wound vacuum to fight infection. Once swelling on his injured leg goes down, a cast will be put on to heal the fractures.
“We’re just so, so pleased with his progress and we’re just so pleased with what he’s been able to do,” said Sue Bankhead, the director of Children’s Services at EIRMC. “We just know he’s gonna do great.”
Kayden’s been in the hospital almost two weeks. Next month, he will go to Shriner’s Hospital in Salt Lake City where he’ll be fitted for a foot prosthetic.
Every few years, Kayden will have to get a new foot. His family knows there will be challenges, but they’re trying to remain optimistic.
“It’s sickening to my heart that it’s happened,” Derek said, “But to see Kayden do what’s he doing and see him pull through this and be so happy — it’s just heart warming.”
The Emerys said they’ve been amazed at the outpouring of love from folks in Idaho and around the world. They’ve received messages of support from as far away as Scotland.
Kariann’s co-workers at Madison Memorial Hospital have donated their vacation hours so she can stay with her son and the family is overwhelmed with people donating money, sending well-wishes and saying prayers for Kayden.
“We just want to thank everybody,” Derek said. “It’s really heartfelt that there’s so many people who care for a little boy they’ve never met. Thank you.”