Belfast Telegraph

Dad's relief as heroic pet dog Teddy rescues their son from tumble dryer

By Sophie Inge

A father has told how the family's heroic pet dog came to the rescue when his disabled five-year-old son became trapped inside their tumble dryer.

Riley Gedge-Duffy from Co Down suffered burns to his arms, back and head when the machine started with the boy, who has Down's Syndrome, stuck inside.

His father, Aaron Duffy, told Frank Mitchell's U105 phone-in show: "My son Riley trapped himself inside the tumble dryer and when he closed the door, the tumble dryer automatically started. My wife was upstairs vaccuuming. My other son was watching TV and the dog alerted my wife that something was up.

"They went downstairs and he was going round and round in the tumble dryer."

"Thankfully, she was able to get to him in time.

"My wife pulled him out and started putting cold water over him because he was warm.

"I arrived at the door within minutes and I stripped him and then made him go into the cold shower and then the ambulance was called and they were here within minutes."

They drove to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald where Aaron says they were greeted by several members of staff.

"I want to put a big thanks out to the ambulance service and also the staff in the Ulster Hospital's A&E department for what happened yesterday," he told the show.

A hospital spokeswoman has described Riley's condition as "comfortable".

Mr Duffy said: "Riley was born with Down's Syndrome, and he likes to take himself off and do his own thing. He is a loveable wee character, does his own thing and is always smiling.

"He is forever hiding in the wardrobe or he has often taken himself off into the dog run in the garden to hide.

"But what concerns me was the tumble dryer - our one, when you close the door, it automatically goes.

"I just want to make other families with young children aware of what can happen."

Aaron is convinced that if the dog had not warned his wife in time then his son would not have survived.

"The ambulance driver last night said normally children would suffocate and die," he said.

According to Aaron, it's not the first time the dog - a female Cockapoo called Teddy - has alerted the family to an emergency.

"The dog made us aware that an iPhone charger was catching on fire," he said.

"And only for the dog reacting yesterday in the way she did, my wife knew something was up."

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service described the incident as "horrific" and said crews were on the scene within six minutes.

"Today, Riley is back to his old self and we will maybe get him a wee visit to the station next week," NIAS said.

Belfast Telegraph


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