A 13-year-old San Juan North Secondary School student was on Tuesday night recovering from injuries he sustained after he was hit on the head by a piece of falling concrete.
What started out as an innocent stroll around the school at lunchtime Tuesday, turned into a disaster for the student.
The young boy, who was accompanied by a friend, was walking along the ground floor when a slab of concrete from the second floor gave way, colliding with both him and his friend. However, while the other student suffered minor injuries, he was not so fortunate.
The student suffered a deep gash to his head which required six stitches.
Speaking with Guardian Media hours after the incident, the child’s mother, Natasha Alexander, said she received a call from the school informing her of the injury her child had suffered.
She said, “They said that my son was injured, something fell and hit him, so I came immediately to them and when I got there, his head was already bandaged up but his school shirt and pants were covered in blood.”
Alexander said after he was hit by the concrete slab, “he looked and he saw his blood running down his face, so he just held his head and walked to the office and told whoever he met there that he’s bleeding and they attended to him afterwards.”
According to the boy’s parents, the incident occurred around lunchtime but they were not notified until about an hour had passed.
“The cut was really really bad. He had to get about six to seven stitches on it and well that was just about it, they didn’t call an ambulance or anything…I took him, I walked down with him and I took him to the hospital for myself,” she added.
After speaking with the principal of the school, Alexander said, “They said that it is being rectified and that they sent down the information to the ministry and the problem is being rectified with the school and whatever medical bills I have, they said they will see about it, we’ll get first preference if we go to the hospital.”
Alexander said she was told to keep a close eye on her son due to the extent of his sustained head injuries.
She said, “He’s in a lot of pain right now, his face is swollen, his head is still bandaged up and that’s about it. He’s just home in pain…They just said to monitor him because he might get some seizures and because of the impact of the lash to his head.”
Alexander said her son was left traumatised by the incident and that he was now not comfortable with returning to school at this time, since he was disturbed by what had occurred.
Despite all of this, the woman said she was grateful her son is alive.
“This could not only have happened to my son; it could have happened to anybody and it could have been worse than what happened yesterday,” she noted.
Alexander said the school was suspended after the incident.
However, while at the school, Guardian Media saw students present and was told by Alexander that they were members of the football team that is participating in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL).
A teacher at the school confirmed that those students were indeed footballers and their supporters. According to the teacher, the principal of the school was aware that these students were on the compound yesterday evening.
Contacted for a response yesterday, Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said she was aware of the unfortunate situation and noted that the student had been receiving medical attention.
She also added that the ministry will continue to provide support for his recovery.
The minister also said the school had been identified for extensive repair in September and work should begin this month.