A five-year-old boy has lost his toe after it was cut off as he enjoyed a playground in regional Western Australia.
Jaeger Verryt and his family were at the playground on the Geraldton foreshore, about 424km north of Perth, on August 12.
The preschooler was playing with friends on a metal merry-go-round, which is built into the ground so it’s wheelchair accessible.
His mother Ebony posted on Facebook about the incident.
“His toe became caught in a gap on one side, and sadly that gap closed in on the opposite side as the equipment rotated, cutting his entire toe off his poor little foot,” Ms Verryt wrote.
“Thankfully the friend we were with is a paramedic, so between him and I we were able to stop the arterial bleeds and get him up to ED within minutes.”
Jaeger had to be flown to Perth Children's Hospital for treatment, and while emergency services managed to find his toe after dismantling the merry-go-round, it was unable to be reattached.
“We’re so grateful it was just a toe and not an entire foot, but still absolutely shattered he/we/our other kids had to live through that horrid experience,” wrote Ebony, “and it hurts my heart he lost it simply playing at a damn park!!
“Quite possibly the most horrific 24hrs of my entire life, but so glad you are okay J-baby.”
Jaeger underwent a three-hour surgery and is still recovering and has to get around in a wheelchair.
Ebony provided an update on her son’s condition on Tuesday evening.
“It’s still too ‘fresh’ to talk about with him casually without him emotionally shutting off and becoming distressed,” she wrote.
“He’s been having nightmares and still refuses to look at this foot and bless his innocence – still strongly believes it’s going to grow back like a lizzards (sic) tail does.
“We’ve got a little bit of a road to recovery ahead, but with the resilience he’s shown, there’s no doubts this will end up being his favourite party-story to tell as he gets older.”
WorkSafe WA has since launched an investigation into Jaeger’s ordeal.
“An incident was reported to WorkSafe on Monday, August 14 in which a child had a toe amputated by a piece of playground equipment in Geraldton,” a WorkSafe spokesperson said.
“WorkSafe is currently making inquiries into the circumstances of the incident.”
City of Greater Geraldton chief executive Ross McKim says the city is taking the incident extremely seriously.
“The city is very saddened by an incident which took place on the Geraldton foreshore’s youth precinct,” Mr McKim said.
“Following the incident, the city took immediate action to close off particular play equipment to ensure it was not accessible to the public.
“Our thoughts go out to the child and family involved and we wish the youngster an extremely positive and speedy recovery.”