Four-year-old Jay Watson had injured himself in a soft play area of a garden centre in Worcester on a day out with his older brother Jordan, 11, and their grandmother Jayne Gilder. Upon sustaining a 3cm cut above his right eye that would not stop bleeding, he was taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Woodrow, Redditch to be treated.

Four-year-old patient ‘screamed the hospital down’

At the hospital, doctors made the decision to glue the cut shut rather than use stitches.

Of the incident, Grandma Jayne, 59, said: “It wasn’t a big cut but it was deep and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. We were sat in the hospital waiting room as Jay was good as gold. But then we were called in and a young doctor squeezed the tube of glue on the cut to close it, but he pressed too hard and the glue ran down Jay’s face into his eye.”

“The next thing we knew, his eye wouldn’t open.”

Medics apologised and tried to remove the glue with saline solution, to no avail. They then told the family that Jay’s eye should open again by itself within a few hours – but it ended up being glued shut for five days.

Jay, who is being assessed for autism and has sensory issues, was said to have screamed in pain, according to Jayne. “The stress that child went through to try to and open his eye is unbelievable. He screamed the hospital down, all because of incompetence.”

No choice but to play the waiting game in pain

Unsurprisingly, the hospital was lambasted for its mistake by the upset family.

“What amazed us even more was the fact that the doctor told us it wasn’t the first time this had happened. It was like he was proud of it. The stress that child went through to try to and open his eye is unbelievable… He left looking worse than what he did when he was admitted,” said Jayne.

The youngster spent a sleepless night due to the pain. He was brought back to the hospital the next day, where the family opted to try and have his eye forced open, to no avail. He was also brought to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a second opinion, but were again told that it was a matter of waiting for the glue to slacken.

The only relief to be found for the child was in a cold compress on his eye, until the following Monday when his eye eventually opened again.

Incident ‘shouldn’t have happened in the first place’

Jay’s mother, Jo, 36, a mental health coordinator who lives with her husband Michael, 35, and their children, commented, “I couldn’t fault the hospital’s aftercare, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.” She added that she felt an older child would understand the situation better, but because Jay was only four, he was terrified that he could not see.

The hospital has refused to discuss the case, citing regulations, but have conceded that they “are concerned when a patients experience doesn’t match the high standards we set for ourselves”. MIMS

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