INDEX, WA - Little Hank Purchase is known for his sense of adventure.
"Me and my husband say all the time that we won the baby lottery with our son," said Hank’s mother, Rebecca Grant.
At 5 years old, Hank fully embodies his parents' love for the outdoors.
Many of the special memories the family has created together involve their love for rock climbing. It’s a passion Hank excels at.
But now, his mother Grant feels differently about the hobby.
"I can't ever imagine climbing again…I can't ever imagine touching granite again."
On Sunday, the family was at a popular climbing spot in Index called ‘the country.’ It’s an area frequented by families. Grant was holding the rope for another climber, while Hank played with a toy truck in the dirt.
That’s when a rock up above got loose.
"I saw the rock coming and I yelled at him to move, and I remember him turning and looking at me as I said it. I saw the recognition on his face that there was an emergency. And I honestly didn't really believe that it was happening as I saw it happen. It was just so horrifying to see that happen to my child."
Grant says the rock was between the size of a football or basketball, and fell directly on her son’s head.
"When I looked at him, I assessed that he was dying, right there, and I thought that I was holding him in my arms while he died."
Hank was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center where he remains in the ICU in critical condition.
"As a parent, you always worry way too much about the worst-case scenario, which is this right now, but we try so hard not to parent like that. We try so hard to be relaxed and let them be free, and not give them fear about every little thing while we feel that incredible fear."
As Grant focuses on her son’s recovery, she says she knows what happened to her family has affected other parents.
"I'm terrified that people will hear this and parent more fearfully because this is what causes us to parent fearfully," Grant said. "I just want to express in this position, I don't regret the adventurous life that we've given our son … if anybody sees this and it gives them that feeling of their child's vulnerability being that much closer and that much more real you just have to think about what is more important, that my child is always safe and never gets injured, or that my child has the most rich and fulfilled life that I can possibly give them."
The accident fractured five-year-old Hank’s skull, and he is still unconscious. His mother believes he will be for some time.
Loved ones of the family have set up a fundraiser to help pay for medical expenses here.
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