Woman rushes to cut hair to help 8-year-old breathe after freak accident
A hero mum frantically chopped off a choking 8-year-old girl's hair to save her life after a horror karting incident.
The girl began to choke when her hair became tangled in the wheels of a kart during a play-date with a new school friend at a lifestyle block in Tokoroa on Friday. The girl was flown to Waikato Hospital with life-threatening injuries and was placed in an induced coma. She was transferred to Auckland's Starship Hospital in a critical condition. Last night she was stable.
Eric Bass, who owns the Manfield St property where the accident happened, said the girl was his daughter's classmate and was visiting for the first time.
They were sitting in a trolley being towed by a motorised kart, driven by Bass' 13-year-old son.
"The whole thing happened close to the house and when my wife saw something going on she ran straight out to help," he told the Herald on Sunday.
Bass said the girl's helmet strap was also choking her and she was struggling to breathe.
"My wife was told to cut her hair to help her breathe until an ambulance got there. It was a nightmare."
Bass said his son had been driving karts since he was 5 and his children often played in them in a paddock beside the house.
"The wee girl's hair is very long and she must have been leaning back in the seat for it to get trapped in a wheel," he said.
"My boy is broken by this. He is very upset. We really feel for the girl's family as this is a heartbreaking thing to happen. I spoke to her father who knows it was a freak accident."
The girl had been due at the house again yesterday for Bass' daughter's 8th birthday party. But the celebrations were cancelled as the girl fought for her life.
The girl suffered a head injury and had breathing difficulties, Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter base manager Grant Bremner said. "This was an unusual incident, a result of the patient having her hair caught in the drive mechanism of the kart while being towed by another kart."