Published on behalf of a supporter
Below is the slide at Butlins which resulted in my 5 year old daughter splitting her head open and having operation to stitch back together.
Rhia had gone down the slide a few times and each time the lifeguard at top of slide told her to throw her arm bands and rubber ring down the slide before she went down.
I thought I would have a go too.
She had gone down the slide and I asked the lifeguard at the top if I should sit up or lay back. She replied that it was up to me.
So I lay right back as I thought safer.
I was going fast and as got near the bottom I realised my daughter was still in the water at bottom of slide. There was no way I could stop or move.
I went straight into her feet first, she went flying up in the air quite high and down into the shallow water which is below knee deep.
Her head took the full impact as she hit the bottom of the pool!
I turned round and picked her up to see blood pouring all over her face, she was screaming non stop, in pain and scared.
I sat her on the side of the pool (the left side as you face the slides)
Holding her head together to try stop the bleeding and trying to calm her down.
It was so deep I could see her skull.
My first thought was that lifeguard will rush over to help but nobody did. I looked around and there were no lifeguards in sight. I looked up at the slide and couldnt believe the life guard was not aware of what just happenned!!
Another swimmer was walking past and I had to get her to fetch a life guard!
We were then taken into the first aid room with two lifeguards and I asked them to call an ambulance.
They refused and said, “the ambulance wont come, they have an issue coming here”
They also made comment, “this happens a lot!”
I was shocked and questioned them as to why they do not have a lifeguard at bottom at all times. Especially if this has happenned a lot before.
She replied, “sometimes they just bang the back of their head, not normally this serious”
I signed a form and did not realise it was an accident form. It was blank and they completed it afterwards
“Sign here and I will fill out rest, you focus on getting her to hospital”
I have since asked for copy and have been refused. I’ve got to request in writing because “it has staffs personal details on”
We spent about 4+ hours in hospital that day,
And she had to go back the next day (we were there 10 hours) for operation which was very scary for her. With my other children as well was not fun and they were naturally upset as missed all shows/ activities etc and did not have a holiday. The last place you want to be with kids is A+E
She now has a 4cm scar and possible permanent numbness in her forehead and be unable to move the same as before.
When I got back to Butlins I thought someone would contact me to see how we were but nobody did. I spoke to a member of staff who got someone to help.
I feel bad as he was helpful in some ways but some things he said / did I felt suspicious of and thought may come back on me so they would use it against me if I took things further.
He offered us a return holiday and I said that I didnt know if to accept or not as did not want it to come back on me.
He said, “I’m not giving you this because of the accident, Im giving it as gesture of good will because you have had no holiday”
That to me showed they are NOT taking responsibility for what happened, nor do they care or feel sorry.
Also whilst in taxi on way home I opened the envelope about the replacement holiday and could not believe it was just a voucher for money to use against another holiday!
I had already got a quote for a holiday in easter and summer (before incident) so I know the exact cost of future holidays and even with the voucher I will have to pay an additional £1000 – £2000!
They are trying to justify the comments about ambulance and the number of accidents by saying “maybe she said it to make you feel better”!
We left all our bags in reception when we went hospital and 1 has gone missing.
We missed 1 breakfast and 1 evening meal which I had paid for. They said when I go back they will give me voucher to spend on their resort!
We were all so excited to go on this holiday and it meant a lot to us. I am a single parent and my family were abroad when this happenned. I felt really alone and like the people there did not care and they are trying to cover it up!
Worried over everything I said as they are twisting things. Was hard to hold it all together for those two days. Not cry or show panic to my daughter as I was trying to calm her down.
I couldn’t speak much about it to staff as had my children there so dealing with it now.
It keeps running through my mind what happenned and Its easy to look back and think I should of done this or that.