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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Cumbrian boy impaled by steel spike 'very lucky'

Childish games left a schoolboy with memory and vision loss, after a metal peg impaled his skull.

Related: Boy, 11, has metal bar embedded in skull in freak accident

The details of how 10-year-old Declan Clark was injured have only now been released, as his family have spoken of their nightmare.

The News & Star covered the horrific incident, which occurred at the skate park near Tesco at Bransty, in Whitehaven, at 2.45pm on Sunday.

A metal bar, now known to be a large steel peg, was embedded 1.5 inches into the youngster’s skull.

It took emergency services an hour to transfer Declan from the steep slope where he was injured, into an ambulance.

The boy was initially taken by air ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital, which has a specialist trauma unit, before being transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital where doctors removed the bar.

Declan was originally treated on the Intensive Care Unit, but he is now said to be making good progress and preparations are underway to move him to a ward.

He has some loss of vision and memory loss though. His mother, Susan, has been by his side in hospital.

Paul Chambers, Susan’s partner, said Declan had been playing with friends on scooters before the accident. He said a metal bar was thrown from a higher point of the embankment, hitting Declan in his skull.

Cumbria police revealed that the steep bank where the incident happened was being stabilised by hessian sheets held in place by the large steel pegs.

A police spokeswoman said: “Several of the pegs were pulled out of the ground and were being thrown about, when one of the pegs struck Declan in the back of the head and penetrated his skull.”

One of the young people at the scene contacted the emergency services.

Paul recalled: “I went up to the embankment and I could see Declan. My legs gave way, but I managed to pull it together and go to him.

“He was very coherent – he was answering all the questions that the rescue teams were asking him.

“He was crying and asking for me and Susan. He is better than he was but he’s still not out of the woods.

“It has been a stressful few days – we have hardly slept or eaten. He has been a very lucky boy.”

Paul said it will be a slow recovery for Declan.

The police spokeswoman said: “We would like to take this opportunity to ask parents to remind their children of the consequences of throwing large, heavy items at each other.

“While the children may think they are playing and having fun the consequences can be very serious and in some cases fatal.”

Graham Roberts, county councillor for Bransty, said: “Let us hope the young man makes a complete recovery.

“Health and safety is everybody’s concern and we don’t want to see anybody unnecessarily injured.”

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