A young boy who suffered life-changing brain injuries on holiday when a speaker dropped 50ft onto his head is in line for a bumper payout from Thomson.
Stanley Birch had just woken up on his deckchair at the Yasmin Resort in Turgutreis, Turkey, when the music equipment blew off a balcony and crashed onto his head.
His parents, Mitchell, 35, and Amy, 32, feared the three-year-old was dead as he lay motionless and covered in blood by the poolside of the five-star hotel.
Stanley Birch (left and right) had just woken up on his deckchair at the Yasmin Resort in Turgutreis, Turkey, when the music equipment blew off a balcony and crashed onto his head
But a doctor staying at the hotel picked him up and Stanley was taken to nearby Bodrum Hospital where medics operated on him for three hours.
Surgeons discovered he had suffered an epidural haematoma and had to drain off excess blood on his brain in June 2014.
Despite having 20 staples following the operation and a further ten stitches to his face that was cut by the speaker, Stanley flew home two weeks later.
Pictured: The speaker that caused the horrendous injuries is circled in red on the balcony
But scar tissue on the right side of Stanley’s brain has left him with severe brain damage affecting his future development.
Stanley, now six, is now in line for a payout that could stretch into hundreds of thousands from holiday giant TUI, which run First Choice and Thomson.
Amy, a beautician who lives with Mitchell, Stanley and daughter Rosie, eight, in Gillingham, Kent, said: ‘It was horrible.
His parents, Mitchell, 35, and Amy, 32, feared the three-year-old was dead as he lay motionless and covered in blood by the poolside of the five-star hotel. He is pictured shortly after the incident, left, and several years later, right
‘Stanley had just woken up, and we were by the pool a few metres from him. Then I heard this bang and everyone was screaming.
‘I turned round and saw him lying still. He was off the sun lounger, which was completely smashed. I thought he was dead.
‘A man nearby said he was a doctor and picked him up, I could see blood was pouring across his face.
‘He wasn’t crying, I knew something was wrong because I knew he should be crying.
‘The ambulance came and he was in and out of consciousness when they got him to the hospital.
Scar tissue on the right side of Stanley’s brain has left him with severe brain damage affecting his future development
‘First of all the doctors acted as if he was fine, but then his head began to swell and they gave him an MRI scan.
Stanley has to go for check-ups every month and his brain development is closely monitored
‘They tried to say he can go home before another doctor came in and said he needed surgery.
‘He was in there for three hours where they discovered he had suffered a tear to his main artery.
‘Eventually he came out and the doctor was amazing, apparently he was very close to having to go into a coma.
‘We then had to wait two weeks before it was safe to fly home, because the air pockets in his head could open up.
Stanley has to go for check-ups every month and his brain development is closely monitored.
Mr Birch, a contract supervisor, added: ‘It’s so tough, seeing what effect this has had on him.
‘He is happy and doing well, and we are lucky he is alive. But no-one knows for sure if he will develop 100 percent as he should have.
‘It is very stressful thinking how what happened on that day could still change his life now.
Thomson accepted liability last year, but it is unlikely he will receive any compensation until he is at least 18. Pictured: The deckchair, left, after being shattered by the speaker, right
We can’t get that day out of our heads, we really thought he was dead.’
Thomson accepted liability last year, but it is unlikely he will receive any compensation until he is at least 18.
Mark Gore, from the solicitors representing Stanley, said: ‘Although Thomson have accepted liability, we cannot truly estimate the costs probably until he is 18.
‘We must wait for key moments in his life, such as his GCSEs, to determine what effect this has had on him.
‘It’s very difficult because it happened when he was two, so it’s hard to say how he would have turned out.
‘We do know that he has been left with scar tissue on the right side of his brain that has left him with severe behaviour problems.
Stanley, bottom left, pictured with his parents, Amy and Mitchell, and his sister, Rosie
‘I really cannot say how much he is entitled to, it could be thousands or it could be hundreds of thousands, depending on what costs are worked out.’
A spokeswoman for Thomson and First Choice said: ‘We can confirm that an incident took place at the Yasmin Resort in Bodrum on 12th June 2014 and as a result a child was taken to hospital
‘Our resort team offered every possible support and assistance at the time of and in the aftermath of the incident, conducting a full investigation to understand what happened
‘Our Welfare Team based in the UK were also in direct contact with the customers and continued to offer the necessary support.
‘As this case is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment further.’