September 20, 2021 11.25 am This story is over 26 months old

Girl, 13, who impaled her arm on railings has a message for other youngsters

She is also asking the council to prevent other injuries

A 13-year-old girl who almost lost an arm when she impaled it on metal fencing at Spalding’s Ayscoughfee Gardens has a plea to other children.

Surgeons say Poppy Elsey’s jumper took some of the impact and probably saved her limb.

She had a skin graft to the injury and faces further operations as she gets older.

The incident happened after Poppy and best friend Molly Usher, 12, clambered on to The Ice House.

Although not a designated climbing feature, youths are known to use its roof as a place to sit and chat.

Poppy said: “It has been the most horrendously painful week of my life and I’m still in lots of pain now.

“So I just want to urge people – please do not climb on top of The Ice House.”

Poppy wants to warn others to avoid gruesome injuries like hers. Click/tap photo to reveal.

Poppy had slipped and fallen as she was getting down.

Level-headed Molly lifted her off the fence and immediately called an ambulance.

Poppy said: “The pain hit as I landed on the fence. Then I panicked as I couldn’t get off.

“Molly lifted me off and I saw there was lots of blood. I took my jumper off and looked at my arm and the shock hit me. I began screaming.”

Molly called Poppy’s mum Katie, who arrived from the family home nearby to find her daughter laid on a bench with a member of the public comforting her.

Poppy’s dad Mark raced to the scene from his workplace in the town.

Mrs Elsey said: “I stayed calm purely to keep Poppy calm but I was gobsmacked to see how bad the injury was.

“I was relieved when I knew she could move her fingers.”

Poppy and her family accept that she should not have climbed on The Ice House but are asking South Holland District Council, which looks after Ayscoughfee Gardens, to help prevent another injury.

Mrs Elsey believes the arrowhead tops to the fencing present a danger and, if they are to remain, there should be a warning sign.

She said: “We fully appreciate that Poppy was in the wrong – she and Molly shouldn’t have been up there.

“But youngsters are adventurous. Poppy just slipped as she was getting down.

“If there wasn’t an arrowhead, her injuries wouldn’t have been as life-changing as they are. Luckily it missed an artery.

“I dread to think what might have happened otherwise.”

She added: “At the end of the day it’s our job as adults to protect our youngsters from doing silly things and they don’t need much of a deterrent to stop.”

Mrs Elsey said Molly’s actions were “amazing” and she’s also been able to properly thank the woman who helped at the scene.

The incident happened at about 5.30pm on Sunday, September 12.

Poppy, who’s using the painkiller morphine and spending much of the day sleeping, is unlikely to return to studies at Spalding Academy until November.

A spokesperson for South Holland District Council said: “We are aware of the incident at Ayscoughfee Gardens and are in contact with the family involved. We take the health and safety of visitors extremely seriously and will be investigating the matter further.”