Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

'Panic and despair' over horror accident

Police at the scene of a house at Mangawhai Heads where a 10-year-old boy has been rushed to hospital after a suspected accidental hanging north of Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Police at the scene of a house at Mangawhai Heads where a 10-year-old boy has been rushed to hospital after a suspected accidental hanging north of Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A relative of a 10-year-old boy who was seriously injured after a chain became wrapped around his neck says he has been released from hospital.

The boy is understood to have been playing with a hammock suspended from a chain when it is believed he accidentally hanged himself at a home in Mangawhai Heads on Wednesday.

He was flown to Starship hospital in a serious condition where he spent 30 hours in an induced coma.

The relative, who the Herald has chosen not to name, took to Facebook last night to announce the 10-year-old had been released from hospital.

He also recounted the dramatic day when his parents feared they would lose him.

The man said the boy was with his parents, brother and twin brother at the home after attending a tangi.

"The boys started getting themselves ready for a walk while the adults enjoyed a cuppa and chat.

"It was at that stage that [one of the boys] came rushing upstairs to tell us that something was wrong with his twin.

"As his mum looked over the balcony, to her horror she saw his legs dangling from the ground as he hung lifelessly with a chain wrapped around his neck."

The man said there was immediate panic and despair as the adults rushed to help the boy.

"[He] was blue in colour and unresponsive as we frantically removed the chain from its hold. There was no breath or life.

"As we battled to bring life back into [his] body, every now and then there would be a glimmer of hope as he desperately tried to gasp for air.

"For the next few minutes [he] continued to move in and out of consciousness and although it seemed like an eternity for help to arrive, members of the volunteer fire service were on the scene within minutes."

The man said it was unclear whether the boy's mind and body would fully recover, however he was alert and cognitively "normal" yesterday.

The incident had been terrifying for the boy's parents.

"It is a difficult thing to describe what it feels like, to watch a child almost die," he said.

"There is a feeling of complete helplessness as you rely on others to bring them back to life."

- NZ Herald

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