Doctor praised for X-ray that may have saved boy’s life

A doctor has been praised for saving the life of a Donegal schoolboy following a freak incident after he fell off his bike.

Harry Grant from Glenswilly was playing close to his home on Thursday when he tumbled over the handlebars and cut himself. But unbeknown to him or anyone else, a metal shard from the bicycle brakes made its way into the wound before travelling a full nine inches through his body. The object came to rest just three millimetres from his femoral artery.

The lump of steel was only discovered when Dr Andrew Parker, a practitioner at Letterkenny University Hospital, insisted on carrying out a full x-ray on the eleven-year-old.


Harry, who has been described by doctors as a “medical miracle”, is still recuperating from his ordeal and is expected to make a full recovery.

But his mother, Marguerita Moran, said that if not for the thoroughness of Dr Parker, the story could have had a very different outcome.

“Harry was out on his bike on Thursday evening when he fell and ripped his leg. I thought he would need stitches so I took him up to accident and emergency where we were seen by a South African doctor, Dr Andrew Parker.

“He put in the stitches but throughout it all Harry kept saying he was sore in his pelvic area. He was stitched up pretty quickly and we were getting ready to go home when Dr Parker told us that to put Harry’s mind at rest, he would do a full x-ray.”

The family returned to accident and emergency where Harry was told to strip down and step behind a screen. It was at that point Dr Parker was able to pinpoint the foreign object lodged in his pelvis area. Due to the metal shard being millimetres from a major artery, there was debate over whether the Glenswilly National School pupil could be treated in Letterkenny or if he would have to be transferred to Dublin.

Harry recuperating with mum Marguerita at his side.

Following discussions it was agreed that the procedure could go ahead locally.


“Dr Parker was so good and he explained everything to us throughout,” said mum Marguerita. “And for the surgeons here to take it on, they took a risk in Harry’s best interest. He has been so well looked after and we can’t thank them enough.”

Harry’s stitches will have to stay in for a little while longer and he has been undergoing physio to help him get back on his feet. Largely though he is on the mend. As to whether he intends to get back on his bike, his mum said it was a “touchy subject” at the moment.

“He is in great form but he is a very lucky boy,” she said.

“There could have been so many different outcomes here but it is genuinely down to Dr Parker that we are on the road to recovery. The reality is that he saved Harry’s life.”

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