Mother's warning after son's injury
PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010
A DEVASTATED mother is warning other parents to be on their guard after a playground incident ended with her bright and fearless son confined to a wheelchair. Zackary Cohen, aged five, who lives with mum Tricia and his family in Dickens Close, St Albans,
A DEVASTATED mother is warning other parents to be on their guard after a playground incident ended with her bright and fearless son confined to a wheelchair.
Zackary Cohen, aged five, who lives with mum Tricia and his family in Dickens Close, St Albans, suffered bleeding on the brain after the incident about which he can remember nothing.
Tricia, who was living in Barnet at the time and has now moved back to St Albans, claims the school Zack attended at the time in Edgware was not aware of how serious the boy's injury was. And she wants other parents to be on their guard to ensure that nothing like that ever happens to their children.
Zack's accident happened in September at Broadfield Primary School in Edgware and the first Tricia knew about it was when the after-school club contacted her and said he appeared to be very subdued.
When she got to him he collapsed in her arms and an ambulance was called. He was taken to hospital where he was found to have had a bleed on the brain and was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where he was operated on immediately.
A scan showed his brain was swelling and he spent five days in a medically-induced coma. When he woke up he was paralysed - unable to walk, talk or sit up properly.
Although he is still being monitored by Great Ormond Street, Zack has been under the care of Watford General Hospital where he has been receiving intensive therapy but he has to use a special buggy with head and foot support. He has palsy down his left side and can't speak or walk properly. In addition he has developed a squint which will have to be operated on.
It will be another four months before Tricia discovers whether her son has made a full recovery but she is shocked by the change in him. She said: "He was so personable and charismatic with huge ability in football - he had no fear and would tackle anyone. He was one of those kids who was so adaptable and was top of his educational groups. Now he can't do anything and has very slurred speech."
Since the accident Tricia has moved back to St Albans and is caring for Zack at home to give his skull a chance to fuse.
She is pursuing legal action against the school on the grounds that they did not fulfil their duty of care. She said: "The school seems to be saying it was an accident but we don't know whether it was an accident or pushing and shoving. Nothing was seen by an adult or supervisor."
In the meantime she wants to warn other parents about the dangers of head injuries. "If a child is complaining of head pain, don't take a chance. I would not wish this on any other parent." She urged anyone who would like to do so to send good wishes to Zack at email@example.com
A spokesperson for Barnet Council, which is dealing with the case on behalf of the school, said: "First-aid-trained staff from the school followed procedures in accordance with Department of Children, Schools and Families first-aid guidelines and the council's health and safety officers are currently investigating circumstances around this case.