THE parents of a three-year-old boy who nearly lost his life after he accidentally got his head entangled in the chain cord of a window blind have spoken of their terrifying ordeal.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Karen and Michael Hagney from Moyra, Falcarragh said their son Jack had was lucky to be alive. The couple are now calling for legislation to make the fitting of safety devices on household blind chains, mandatory.
“We thought Jack was dead, He was limp, a blue colour and he had stopped breathing. It all happened in a split second,” Karen said.
Without the swift actions of both parents and of their daughter, Lily (4) Sunday could have ended in tragedy.
Speaking in their home, the couple explained how they had been preparing to go out for a drive when the alarm was raised.
“I was in the room getting changed to go out. Michael had just gone to get turf when Lily told him that Jack had fallen asleep on the window sill,” Karen explained.
“Michael was immediately alarmed and ran into the living room straight away. Jack had got his neck caught in the chain cord of the blind. He was strangled. Jack was not breathing, he was a blue-grey colour and was limp,”
“Michael brought him down and began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I gently massaged his heart. We thought he was dead, but by the grace of God he began to cough and put up a foam from his mouth. It was terrifying, horrendous,” Karen said.
Michael explained how he had found Jack entangled with the chain around his neck. It was trapped behind his right ear.
“He had got up on the window sill and put the chain around his head, but then slipped and got his neck strangled in the chain. He couldn’t breathe. In fact when we got him down he had stopped breathing,” Michael said.
“The marks of the chain are still clearly visible and he has red marks around his eyes which the doctors say was due to the lack of oxygen during the incident,” he added.
As Michael comforted his son, Karen called 999.
“I must say the ambulance came very quickly and the journey was swift to Letterkenny,” she said.
“Jack was put onto a spinal board and neck brace and he was treated by a Consultant, Mr Howard,” Karen said.
“He couldn’t believe that after he was found hanging by the chain that Jack was still alive. Were it not for Lily raising the alarm and Michael’s quick response, it could have been a tragedy for us,” she added.
Little Jack remained in hospital for tests earlier this week but was discharged after he got the all clear.
“The marks where the chain was embedded in his neck are still very red and clear,” Karen said.
The couple are now hoping that by going public their ordeal may prevent another such accident.
“I’ve heard before of cases like this where children have died as a result,” Karen said.
“We’d call on the government to introduce a law that makes it compulsory to have safety catches fitted to chain or cords for blinds. Our Jack had a miraculous escape, but some other family might not be as lucky,” she added.