A three-year-old boy will have surgery to help repair his foot that was severed by a riding mower being driven by his uncle on Wednesday evening.

Family and friends are at a western Quebec hospital as the boy is conscious following the incident on Cadieux Road in l'Ange-Gardien, Que., about 30 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

A family friend confirmed to CBC news the boy was playing around when he fell down while the uncle was backing up the mower at about 6 p.m. ET Wednesday.

The boy had been in the arms of his father moments before, according to MRC des Collines police. He wanted to play on the ground, so his father let him go.

The boy then quickly approached the riding mower without anyone seeing him, police said, and his foot was severed.

The was taken to hospital for treatment and his uncle was taken to hospital for shock.