Boy hospitalized after falling through skylight at Novato school

NOVATO, Calif. (KTVU) -- A nine-year-old Novato boy was being treated for seven spinal fractures and head trauma Sunday after falling through a roof skylight at a North Bay elementary school. 

The boy, identified William Wells, is in intensive care at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland.

Cell phone video captured agonizing moments as Novato Fire Department paramedics worked to pull the boy from his mother's SUV. Michelle Melgoza tried to comfort her son who she'd just driven from Hamilton Meadow Park School after receiving a terrifying call.

"He was on top of the roof and he fell through a skylight and landed on his back," said Melgoza, outside of Children's Hospital.

Paramedics happened to be at Novato Community Hospital following a different call and hospital staff asked for their help. At that point, Melgoza began recording the cell phone video. William's injuries were so severe he was taken to Children's Hospital in Oakland. It's the region's trauma center.

"So he has seven fractures in his spine and trauma to the head," said Melgoza.

William's grandparents rushed to Children's arriving behind the ambulance shortly after noon.

"I was in shock," said Joel Melgoza, William's grandfather.

Pictures from inside the hospital show the large lump on William's head. He's had internal bleeding and during bouts of consciousness the boy explained why he'd climbed to dangerous heights.

"While they were playing basketball apparently one of them kicked the ball and it went up on the roof," said Joel Melgoza.

The Novato Unified School District released the following statement Sunday evening:

"We don't have details at this time of this unfortunate incident but our hearts go out to the injured child and his family."

"He's very lucky. He could've landed on something. He could of landed a lot harder. It could have been fatal," said Joel Melgoza.

While doctors assessed William's fall injuries they found something previously undiagnosed, a benign cyst on his brain.

"Unfortunately but fortunately, it was on the side that he hit and fractured, so they found it," said Joel Melgoza.

William's family says he has feeling in his fingers and toes so no obvious paralysis from the fall. He may be put in a full body cast. As for the cyst, doctors are going to observe him before going forward with any treatment.