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Parents of lucky toddler ‘went cold’ at news of Co Down tragedy

Parents of lucky toddler ‘went cold’ at news of Co Down tragedy
RECOVERING Toddler Finian Clarke from Louisburgh had a lucky escape when a cord from a window blind got caught around his neck and almost killed him.

Louisburgh toddler has lucky escape

Toddler brought back from the brink by heroic father and medical teams after window blind cord accident

Edwin McGreal

A 17-month old toddler from Louisburgh is lucky to be alive this week after a frightening and near tragic accident with a cord from a window blind.
Finian Clarke had to be rushed to hospital after a cord from the window blind in his bedroom had become wrapped around Finian’s neck, almost killing him.
The incident happened on Monday, February 11 and Finian made it home to his grandparents house in Falduff, Louisburgh on Thursday last, confounding doctors in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin who didn’t anticipate such a quick recovery after his ordeal.
His mother, Caroline Healy, was bringing in the washing while Finian was watching TV in the kitchen. When she came back in and went looking for him, she discovered every parents’ nightmare - Finian was hanging by his neck from the cord in his room and was unconscious with no apparent pulse. She cut him down with a scissors and rang her boyfriend Colm Clarke who immediately left work at Durcan’s Butchers in Louisburgh to rush home to their rented house in Falduff.
Colm recalled a basic lesson on CPR they were given in antenatal classes and performed CPR as best he could on his son. It was more than good enough and Finian was back breathing within a few minutes.
He was far from out of the woods though and was rushed to Mayo General Hospital where a staff of up to 20 worked on Finian.
“Only for them I don’t think Finian would be alive. They did Trojan work on him and had him stable enough to be moved to Dublin and his condition actually improved by the time he got to Crumlin,” Colm told The Mayo News yesterday.
At Castlebar he was placed in an induced coma and taken to intensive care in Crumlin where he spent until Thursday evening on a life-support machine and by that stage a scan had confirmed that there was no brain damage or swelling.
Doctors told Colm and Caroline that this was quite surprising given that Finian wasn’t breathing for something in the region of five to eight minutes.
“We are very lucky that there was no lasting damage. We are so grateful to the paramedics and the staff at both hospitals and all our neighbours and friends who did so much. It was a harrowing experience but it could have been so much worse,” said Colm.
This week Finian Clarke is at home, sleeping well and while he’s a small bit nervous after the ordeal, according to his father he is getting ‘tons of attention’ from a family so grateful to have a healthy boy still with them.
The dangers of cords from window blinds became even more apparent at the weekend when news emerged of the death of Daniel Grant, aged two, from County Down, who died after becoming entangled with the cord of a window blind.
As of last August a staggering total of 15 children since 2005 in Ireland had died from hanging after becoming entangled in window blind cords in homes.
“Our blood went cold when we heard of that story in Northern Ireland. We want to speak about our own experience so that people can be aware of the dangers. Where do you stop when child-proofing a house some people might ask?
“Well you cannot wrap your child in bubble wrap but there is a real danger here, the figures show that. We always tried to tie the blinds out of Finian’s reach but this time it obviously came loose. We’d implore people to be aware of the danger and do all they can to guard against it,” said Colm Clarke.

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