Belfast Telegraph

Horror as boy impaled on metal rod at playing fields in Portstewart

By Cate McCurry

An 11-year-old boy has had a lucky escape after becoming impaled on an iron pole at a children's play area in Portstewart.

Ryan Patez suffered a four-inch wound through his thigh when he fell on a rod that had been temporarily erected by the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for the Irish Open golf championship.

The uncapped rod punctured his right thigh, leaving a gaping hole.

Ryan had been playing with his younger brothers and friends at the The Warren Park on Wednesday when the incident happened.

The iron rods had been placed in the council-owned playing fields to cater for the overspill of parking spaces for the golfing event, although no cars were in the area at the time.

A friend of the young boy was able to pull the rod from the grass and place Ryan on the ground as they awaited for emergency services to arrive.

He was rushed to hospital with the pole still embedded in his thigh.

His mother Natalie Patez said the rods should never have been placed there.

"Those are awful, damaging things that should not have been used," she said.

"We are happy and relieved that it's not worse than this.

"Ryan was chatting with a woman when he stepped back off a wall and whatever way it happened his leg caught the iron post."

Children playing in the area were left distraught as a shocked Ryan didn't realise at first what had happened.

"His friend shouted out to him about his leg, then Ryan started screaming, it was quite an ordeal for them," she added.

Ryan had been on a day out along with his younger brothers, six-year-old Ethan and five-year-old Gabriel and their grandmother.

He is now recovering at home after his ordeal.

"Ryan is an outdoor person and it's the summer holidays and now he's very restricted, it's very frustrating," she added.

"A council official called to the house asking if he could do anything for us and offered passes to the golf event, but that's not really what we wanted.

"He apologised and said they have removed the iron rods from the grass."

A spokeswoman for the council said: "A young boy was treated in hospital for a leg injury and was subsequently released.

"An officer from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and a representative from The European Tour's car park operation visited the boy at home on Thursday where he is recovering."

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