Saturday 20 July 2019

Young boy (4) hospitalised after coming into contact with discarded needle in playground

Gabija Gataveckaite

The mother of a four-year-old boy is facing a six-month wait to ensure her son is healthy after being pricked by a discarded needle while out playing.

Danielle Austin spoke of the terrifying moment when her son came back home bleeding after playing outside his home in Togher, Cork.

“He came in himself and told me me he sat on glass, so I was wiping the blood and then I had a look myself and realised that the mark was way too small to be from glass,” she told the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s RedFM.

“I asked him what kind of glass it was and he told me that it was a long silver thing that looked like a pen.

“I knew then straight away then that it was a needle,” she said.

After being unable to find the needle, the mum reacted quickly and took little Dereck to A&E.

“Straight to A&E for more or less two days on and off, he got tests and then he got booster injections and the whole lot,” she said.

Thankfully, no signs of infection from the needle showed up on the initial blood tests. However, Ms Austin now has to wait an additional six months for the all-clear from doctors after additional blood tests.

Luckily, doctors say that he should succeed in not contracting infection as the prick was treated very quickly.

“The doctors told me that his chances [of contracting infection] are very, very low,” she said.

She first raised the issue on social media, when she took to Facebook to highlight what had happened.

“God help ye if I ever find out who owns that needle,” she wrote.

“Putting not just my child and every other child in that situation! Luckily I have the bravest little boy in the world.”

Dereck, who will turn five in a couple of months, still doesn’t understand the seriousness of what happened.

“I can’t stop him from going out and playing and we will have to go out and talk to him properly but as of now he’s totally naïve to the whole thing,” she said.

Even though he was a little shaken originally, Ms Austin explained that her little boy is now back to himself.

“He’s back to himself since yesterday and up to no good,” she joked.

She said that the community has been rocked by what happened to her son and that this type of incident is unprecedented in Togher.

“This is after shocking the whole community because that never in all our days would we think anything like that would happen,” she said.

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