The mother of a 13-year-old boy who broke his face in a 40ft fall has warned other parents of the dangers of an ‘exploring craze’ amongst youngsters.
Cleckheaton resident Charlotte Frain’s son Mackenzie Cooper is now recovering in hospital having fallen through the roof of a derelict structure behind a Sainsbury’s petrol station in Dewsbury, said she feared the worst when she received the call, rushing to the scene of the accident “not knowing whether I was going to find my son dead or alive”.
“It’s the sort of phonecall no parent should ever, ever have to receive. I’ve never felt anything like that in my entire life. The feeling is beyond words, just horrible, like someone has punched you in the stomach.
“I arrived there just not knowing what to expect. I didn’t know what state he was going to be in, I didn’t even know whether he was even alive.”
Mackenzie suffered a broken jaw in two places, a broken bone in his face, a badly broken wrist, a fracture above his knee and a punctured right lung.
Based at Leeds General Infirmary, the Whitcliffe Mount student has had a metal plate put into his cheek and underwent a second operation on his wrist on Saturday. He awaits further treatment.
Ms Frain, who has three other children, said: “It sounds silly but he’s got off so lightly. He’s a very, very lucky boy. He could have so easily died or had some sort of spinal injury. I could so easily be planning my son’s funeral this week.
“He’s in huge pain, he’s eating through a straw at the moment and it’s going to take a long time for him to recover.
“He loves his rugby. He plays for Cleckheaton RUFC and had planned to train through the Summer. That’s obviously not going to happen and in terms of him playing again the doctors are just saying that we’ll take it as it comes.”
Since Ms Frain posted photos of her son’s facial injuries on Facebook as a way of warning other parents, she has received reports of a craze of local youngsters exploring derelict buildings and climbing scaffolding.
“It’s just so dangerous. These buildings are just not safe and there are warning signs there for a reason. Mackenzie had been told not to do this sort of thing but he ignored those warnings.
“It’s not nice having these photos of Facebook but they are graphic and hopefully they will stop kids from messing about and show people the dangers of doing this sort of thing.
“Mackenzie is OK with it. In my mind, if it stops one person doing this sort of thing then it’s worth it. No parent should have to get that call.”