Boy, 12, recovering after gate spike narrowly misses heart

  • 5 July 2013
  • From the section London
Media captionJoshua's mother said he was lucky to be alive

A 12-year-old boy is recovering after a gate spike went through his chest.

Joshua Hassan was leaning over a railing looking for a football near his home in Ilford, east London, when he lost his footing and became impaled.

Doctors said it missed his heart by two-and-a-half inches.

His mother Dawn Hassan and neighbours supported his body to stop the blade from doing more damage while they waited for emergency services to cut him free on Tuesday evening.

He was not able to be given painkillers in case they made him drowsy which would have caused this body to relax and cause more damage.

Ms Hassan said when she arrived at the scene, she saw her son had been impaled on the spike but because he was so calm, she did not immediately realise the severity.

"Josh was so calm, he didn't cry - not even when the paramedics arrived," she said.

She added that Joshua was more concerned about his Ralph Lauren jacket being ruined.

It was only after he was cut down from the gate and laid on the ground that she realised how badly he was injured.

"I very nearly did [fainted], but the neighbours caught me. He was so calm so I wasn't expecting it. If he was screaming I might have prepared myself but he was so calm."

Although doctors advised three weeks bed rest, Joshua has already gone outside to play.

Angle grinder

He is in pain when he sneezes, laughs or coughs, however, sleeping is the most painful.

"He is just a soldier. The pain is not going to be bother him - he has no choice other than to get on with it and that is what he's doing," said Ms Hassan.

The accident is the second time a child has been impaled on the gate.

Ms Hassan said two years ago a spike from it went through a 14-year-old boy's main artery in his arm.

The gate leads to Hatfield Gardens, a private housing estate.

"That's two near misses. It's not acceptable but no-one takes responsibility for whose gate it is," she said.

"We want to take it upon ourselves and get an angle grinder and cut it ourselves."

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