Frantic Dad Rushes Age 3 Son to ER after Accidentally Running Him Over with Lawn Mower


July 24, 2017 is a day the Sullivan family will never forget. Sean and Melissa Sullivan described the traumatic day to WTVR.

The parents explained that it looked like their 3-year-old son, Roan, stepped on a bomb.

This ‘bomb’ was a common household piece of equipment that sends 13 kids in the U.S. to the ER every day.

The statistic hit close to home on the summer day in July when Sean Sullivan was mowing the lawn using a riding lawnmower. Roan often rode on his dad’s lap, so the riding lawnmower was filled with fun father-son memories.

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The positive association with the lawnmower was about to completely change, though. Melissa took Roan and his little sister inside while Sean continued to mow.

Roan wanted a drink, and his little sister needed to be put down for a nap.

Roan ran back outside, and before his parents knew what was happening, the little boy had been accidentally run over by the lawnmower.

Sean Sullivan explained to WTVR, “It was the only possible moment that he might have been able to sneak by me. I was looking behind me to the left, making sure I had covered both our exits to the house.”

As he moved the mower in reverse while looking to his left, Roan snuck up on his right.

The horrified parents cannot remember exactly how they lifted him from under the mower or how they managed to get into the car to rush to the ER.

They do remember the image of their son looking like he stepped on a bomb, and the feeling that he was dying in their arms. Sean remembers being grateful to see a room full of doctors, “angels,” that could help save his son.

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Once they got to the closest hospital where his bleeding was treated, Roan was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Richmond.

He faced many surgeries and an amputation of his right foot. But, Roan also faces each new day with strength and resilience even though the accident could have been fatal.

Melissa told “The Doctors,” “I believe that God was with Roan every step of the way…Everything single person that was part his recovery is an angel and every single one of their names are written in my heart forever.”

Sean cannot imagine there will be a day where he won’t experience sadness and guilt over accidentally running over his son.

Roan’s parents have moved forward as best they can to celebrate Roan’s recovery and advocate for lawnmower safety.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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