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Surgeons re-attach boy’s arm after Eastchurch holiday park accident

Surgeons have successfully re-attached a three-year-old boy’s arm after it was ripped off when he climbed into a tumble drier in a caravan at a holiday park. 

The child lost his arm after apparently reaching into the spinning drum whilst on holiday with his family on Monday.  

Holiday camp staff rushed to the private caravan at the Eastchurch site on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, where the accident happened and were shocked by the horrific sight which greeted them.

The three-year-old had become entangled in the drier in a caravan after trying to climb into it at the site at Eastchurch (file picture) on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent

Paramedics, doctors and the crew of an air ambulance scrambled to the holiday park and the youngster was taken to the specialist King’s College Hospital, along with the severed arm which was packed in ice to try to preserve it.

Surgeons who had been put on stand-by at the hospital immediately took the youngster into the operating theatre and later carried out a lengthy procedure using micro-surgery to re-attach the severed limb.

Tonight a spokesperson for the holiday park confirmed that the operation to sew back on the arm had been successful.

‘We have been told that things went well which is excellent news. Obviously the young boy has to undergo a series of further operations but so far things have gone well,’ said the spokesman.

It was understood that the youngster, who has not yet been named, had his arm ripped off as he tried to climb into a spin drier which was installed in the family-owned caravan to dry clothes.

The holiday park overlooks the Thames estuary from Sheppey and was abuzz with families taking advantage of the Easter holidays when the incident happened.  

Holiday camp staff rushed to the private caravan at the Eastchurch (pictured) site on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent 

Holiday camp staff rushed to the private caravan at the Eastchurch (pictured) site on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent 

The spokesperson for the Eastchurch Holiday Camp said that the staff who had rushed to help the boy and his mother had been very shocked by what they saw and at least one of them had been advised to take time off from work because of having to deal with the aftermath of the accident.

‘All at Eastchurch Holiday Centre were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic accident involving the little boy on Monday. They extend their sympathies and best wishes to him and his family at what must be a very difficult time for them all,’ she said in a statement.

‘The owners of Eastchurch would like to thank their staff who got to the scene of the accident (the family’s caravan) so promptly upon hearing about it. In distressing circumstances, they were able to use their first-aid training to do their best to help the child, pending the arrival of the emergency services.

‘The accident was a deeply upsetting incident to everyone concerned. The boy is receiving the best treatment in hospital.

The lost limb was taken to King's College Hospital (pictured) in London, packed in ice

The lost limb was taken to King’s College Hospital (pictured) in London, packed in ice

‘Eastchurch wishes to make clear that the accident did not take place in the laundrette at the park – as early reports indicated – which is a facility available to park users. Eastchurch would like to reassure everyone that the safety of children is of paramount importance at the park.’

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said that it had been decided that the incident did not need an investigation by HSE because it happened on private property and did not involve a work practice.

A spokesman for King’s College Hospital said that it did not discuss individual cases of patients. 

Police were also called to the incident and a Kent Police spokesman said: ‘We were called to Eastchurch Holiday Camp in Sheerness at 1.13pm on Monday after a young child suffered a serious arm injury.

‘The South East Coast Ambulance Service also attended. The child, a three-year-old boy, was taken to a hospital in London where he remains in a serious but stable condition.’