herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Lexi (5) pricked by needle on walk to school

Little Lexi McNamara (5) pictured with her mother Rachel at her home yesterday following her needle prick ordeal.
Little Lexi McNamara (5) pictured with her mother Rachel at her home yesterday following her needle prick ordeal.

A DUBLIN mum is living through a nightmare after her five-year-old daughter got pricked by a syringe that was hidden in a parking ticket machine.

Rachel McNamara (33) from Oliver Bond House told how she was walking Lexi to school, when the little girl put her hand in the flap of the machine, where the change comes out.

It was then she heard her daughter scream, and realised what had happened.

The family must now endure an agonising wait for blood results to come back to rule out HIV.

The shocking incident happened a short distance from St Audoen's Park where 6,000 used needles were found by Dublin City Council workers in 2014, as revealed by the Herald last month.

Little Lexi was en route to St Brigid's national school on Thursday morning when she put her hand in the car parking ticket machine at John's Lane West and screamed.

"There was a huge big spike, it was the head of the needle and it was still stuck in her finger," said Rachel.

Emergency

The site of the needle prick on little Lexi's hand, shown by her mother Rachel yesterday.
The site of the needle prick on little Lexi's hand, shown by her mother Rachel yesterday.

"We went straight to the emergency department at Crumlin children's hospital by taxi.

"A nurse gave Lexi a tetanus shot. She also got a vaccine for Hepatitis. She got her bloods taken," her mum explained

"They tested for everything. It takes six weeks for the HIV one to come back," said Rachel.

It was after 4 o'clock that afternoon when they finally returned home from the hospital.

"Lexi was so brave. She didn't cry when she was getting her vaccine, but she did cry when she got her bloods done.

"But the nurses up there gave her a lovely teddy bear. They were really nice, really helpful," she said.

The hospital kept the spike of the needle to send it away for testing.

"This could have happened to anybody," Rachel pointed out.

Little Lexi was recovering at home yesterday.

Rachel McNamara shows the type of parking ticket maching cash return slot that her daughter Lexi (5) put her hand into and was jabbed by a needle, near their Oliver Bond House home yesterday.
Rachel McNamara shows the type of parking ticket maching cash return slot that her daughter Lexi (5) put her hand into and was jabbed by a needle, near their Oliver Bond House home yesterday.

"When she was asleep, I don't know if it was playing on her mind, but she was jumping in her sleep," her mum said.

Lexi was busy colouring away at home yesterday being cared for by her devoted mum and nanny Emily.

She had a miraculous medal pinned to her pyjamas. Rachel has been praying for her little girl.

"I am absolutely devastated. I haven't stopped crying," she told the Herald.

Many people park in the area to go to a nearby church .

"It did look like somebody maliciously put it in there," she said.

"If somebody is after doing that, then obviously they are going to do it again," said Rachel.

"Kids often put their hands in the flaps. I would say to parents, sit down and talk to kids and tell them how dangerous they are," she said.

Rachel alerted Dublin City Council, and also reported the incident to the gardai at Kevin Street. The brave mum said that she does not want any other parent to go through the trauma she is facing.

In her opinion, if drug users are being dispensed with needles, then they shouldn't be given more unless they bring the used ones back.

"I don't want another person to go through the pain and worry that I am going through" said Rachel, who is also mum to Ellie (8), Ruby (7) and Carl (3).

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said that incidents of this nature are duly investigated when reported.

"However, we do not comment in advance of any investigation being completed," he said.

A Garda spokesperson said that gardai were made aware of the incident, and Dublin City Council was notified.

fdillon@herald.ie

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