UK boy whose foot was crushed by escalator heads home after making strong recovery

Six-year-old Euan dreams of being a doctor

Monday, August 3 2015

Euan Hird, the six-year-old boy from the United Kingdom whose foot was stuck between an escalator step and a platform for three hours at a Durban shopping mall recently, will have a few stories to tell his friends when he returns home.

Euan’s foot was mangled in the incident and doctors were initially concerned that he might be in danger of losing one or more of his toes. However, his mother, Nishala Hird, says he has recovered remarkably quickly after two successful operations were undertaken on his foot by surgeons at Netcare Umhlanga Hospital.

“Euan is looking forward to going home, but is in good spirits and is his usual chatty self,” said Mrs Hird before flying home to the UK with her son on Sunday. “Despite the accident he has enjoyed his stay in Durban, saying he would like to return soon. ”

“The incident was really traumatic for the whole family and particularly for Euan,” added Mrs Hird, who grew up in KwaZulu-Natal. “We are only now feeling like we are able to breathe again! It is miraculous that there was no major tendon or nerve damage or other serious injury to his foot after it was trapped in the escalator like that.”

The staff and management of Netcare Umhlanga Hospital presented Euan, who lives with his parents near the city of Manchester in the UK, with an award for his bravery last week. Mrs Hird says that her son is enormously proud of his award and often speaks of it.

The family, who were visiting Durban to celebrate the 60th birthday of Euan’s grandmother, were leaving a shopping centre when Euan’s foot became trapped by the escalator. Netcare 911 paramedics worked for hours to keep Euan stable and calm while rescuers, including fire brigade personnel, battled to free him.

He was finally extricated when shop fitters used a blowtorch to split an escalator step in half. Euan was rushed to Netcare Umhlanga Hospital with a crushed right foot with soft tissue and bone damage.

“While this was a difficult experience we are all so thankful that Euan is recovering so well. We are grateful to the shop fitters and local fire brigade personnel who assisted to free him, the Netcare 911 paramedics who treated him during his ordeal, and Netcare Umhlanga Hospital, where Euan received excellent medical care throughout his stay. The nurses and other staff at the hospital were wonderful. We are so appreciative to the many Durban people who assisted and supported us through this ordeal.”

Marc Van Heerden, general manager of Netcare Umhlanga Hospital says that Euan showed great courage during his stay in hospital, from which he was discharged recently.

“He underwent an exceptionally distressing experience. Nevertheless he was cheerful throughout his time with us, discussing every aspect of his care and progress with the surgeons and nurses involved in his treatment and care. He fully deserved his award for bravery,” adds Van Heerden.

Mrs Hird says it is not surprising that her son asked the doctors at the hospital about his treatment. “He is a bright boy and has been adamant that he wants to be a neurosurgeon ever since he was three years old. He was consequently fascinated by the hospital and how it works, and asked his surgeons how they were going to go about repairing his foot.”

“Euan was a great inspiration to staff and management at the hospital. It was a great pity that he had to go through such an experience while visiting his family in South Africa. It has, however, been a great privilege for us to care for such a valiant and vibrant young man. We wish him a safe trip home, a speedy recovery, and him and his family all the very best for the future,” concludes Van Heerden.


Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson or Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]