Door handle horror

William Tattersall recovering at home. Below, the  door handle impaled in his forearm

William Tattersall recovering at home. Below, the door handle impaled in his forearm

A brave youngster has relived the horrifying moment he impaled his arm on a door handle – leaving the lever just millimetres from a major artery.

The freak accident happened as William Tattersall was running along a hallway at home and caught his left forearm on the handle – the type found in many homes.

The 12-year-old felt a dull pain and said he thought he had simply caught his arm behind the handle.

But when he looked down he saw it was entirely lodged beneath his skin.

Firefighters and paramedics were called and the handle had to be removed from the door.

William, of Mallard Court, Blackpool, was taken to hospital – with the handle still lodged in his arm.

William’s brother James, who is a nurse, said: “What happened beggars belief. We were all in shock.”

Brother Oscar, 14, was first to see the injury.

“I could just see this bulge in his arm,” he said.

Plucky William, who is now recovering at home after the incident on Friday afternoon, said: “It felt quite painful and I was worrying thinking it would be quite serious.

“I felt like I was going to collapse,” added the Baines School pupil, “it was just a blunt pain.”

The metal handle had lodged under the skin of the underside of William’s left forearm, just millimetres away from a major artery, yet it did not draw any blood.

Luckily for the youngster his mother Alex and older brother James, who are both nurses, were at home and able to reassure him.

James, 23, a nurse at Chorley Hospital, added: “It could have pierced a major artery so it could have been a lot more serious.

“It just sat in the tissue and there was very little blood. I’ve seen grown men fall apart with far less serious things.”

Five paramedics and five firefighters were called to scene and set about removing the door handle from its fitting.

The procedure was made trickier by the angle at which William’s arm was stuck.


Crew manager Chris Wareing, from Forest Gate Fire Station, praised the youngster’s bravery. He said: “He was very calm and very brave.”

Mum Alex said: “I could see from the way it had gone in it wasn’t going to do any lasting damage. It wasn’t gory, it was so neatly in it was as if it had been professionally put there.”

The freak accident gave the biggest shock to dad Simon, who was out at work at the time.

He said: “I got this text saying William had impaled his arm and he was in hospital with the door handle still in his arm. I just dropped everything. He was so brave though, he just took it in his stride.”

William was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was given a series of strong painkillers before medics were able to carefully remove the handle from under his skin.

But not before a number of amazed doctors and nurses had visited William to see the handle in situ.

Mr Tattersall, 58, added: “In A&E they said they’ve seen all sorts in their time but never anything quite like this.

“We can’t thank the emergency services and the staff at the hospital enough, they were marvellous.”

William required four stitches. The wound is no bigger than a 10 pence piece.

The brave boy added: “I think it looked worse than it was.”

The family is now in the process of changing the door handles throughout the house.




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