Family holds vigil by bedside of 13-year-old Notre Dame student
Published Friday, March 28, 2014 5:24PM EDT Last Updated Friday, March 28, 2014 6:55PM EDT
The family of a 13 year old boy is holding a hopeful vigil at his hospital bedside tonight. He was crushed yesterday by motorized doors in his high school gym. His condition remains serious. Grandmother Mary Holm says she can only hope and pray her grandson will be okay. She says he was on a breathing tube last night when she left the hospital; she says the family is struggling to understand what happened.
Investigators with Ontario's Ministry of Labor were still at Notre Dame high school late today, trying to piece together exactly what happened to the 13-year-old boy. So, too, is the family of the young student.
“It's hard, it's just hard to believe anything like this could happen,” says Mary Helm. The family has asked that his name not be released yet but his grandmother says they are holding a vigil by his side in the hospital.
“I just know,” Helm said over the phone, “they're keeping him sedated at this point. He does have a breathing tube; he did last night when I was there. The 48 hour window is still 24 hours away, so I’m not sure.”
The boy was in the school gym yesterday when he was pinned by the mechanized dividing wall. Staff freed him and started doing aggressive CPR. He was rushed to CHEO. Today, the Catholic said in statement that:
"It has safety procedures in place regarding the use of motorized doors that divide school gyms. Today, all school principals were reminded to review safety procedures in all OCSB schools regarding these doors.”
That's what the Ministry of Labor wants to ensure as well.
Bruce Skeaff is with Ontario’s Ministry of Labor, “We are going to investigate whether or not everybody using this equipment has had proper training, whether they were using it properly, and whether the area in and around this equipment was in compliance with health and safety legislation, “
The Ministry of Labor couldn't say whether there have been similar injuries in Ontario involving these partitions but there have been fatalities in the United States. Two children were killed in their schools in New York State more than a decade ago. The state brought in laws ensuring strict safety measures.”
The parents of Eric Leighton, who was killed in his high school three years ago say this reinforces their fight for better safety measures for all students.
Eric’s father, Patrick says "As we heard in Eric’s case, I imagine they'll put some in place now, it' seems too late but usually the way it happens. ”Our hearts go out to these parents and hopefully this teenager comes back with a fully recovery.”