Sunday 18 December 2016

Boy Aged Just 6 May Never Speak Again After Drinking Drain Cleaner

Ayman Faisal

Ayman Faisal, who was only two years old at the time, was strapped into his buggy when he reached out, grabbed the bottle off a low shelf, and drank it.

He suffered severe burns to his mouth, airway, oesophagus and stomach after drinking the cleaner – which contained caustic soda – and was left fighting for his life in intensive care in a Manchester hospital.

His mum Saira, 37, also suffered burns to her hands and feet after desperately trying to get the liquid out of her son’s mouth.

Now aged six, Ayman can’t speak and has to be fed through a tube in his stomach. Because of this, his family is suing both the shop – Safa Superstore in Moss Side, Manchester – and the manufacturer of the drain cleaner.

Lawyers for the family say a two-year-old should not have been able to remove the cap of the bottle, supplied by manufacturer Active Brand Concepts Ltd, and that it should have been displayed on a shelf out of reach of children at the shop.

Saira says the bottle looked like it had a child lock top, but it didn’t work and the cleaner could actually just be unscrewed.

‘Ayman was strapped into his pushchair and I was reaching to get something,’ she said, explaining that she had stopped in the shop on her way home from work.

‘It was only for a few seconds, but when I turned back I saw his lips had gone purple and blue and there was blood coming out of his mouth.

‘I didn’t know what it was or what had happened at first, I just knew it was something bad. I remember screaming at the staff to phone an ambulance while I tried to get as much as I could out with my hands.

‘I was terrified. All I kept thinking was, “Please don’t let me lose my son”.’

Doctors at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital had to put a permanent tracheostomy tube into his neck so he could breathe, and a feeding tube into his stomach so he could eat.

Saira added: ‘While Aymen was in hospital, I was told of another child who had been brought in after being injured by the same product. It’s too late to change what has happened to my son now, but I hope doing this will stop it from happening to anyone else.’

Although Aymen cannot speak, he has learned sign language and can use a ‘talker’ device – similar to the one used by Stephen Hawking.

Alicia Rendell, a serious injury specialist at law firm Slater and Gordon, said: ‘It is hard to imagine how devastating this has been for Ayman and for Saira to see her only child go through such pain and suffering.

‘We have also been approached by another mother who says her daughter suffered severe burns after she was able to open the same product.

‘This is extremely concerning and we would urge everyone with young children in the house to check that all substances like this are in childproof containers and stored well out of harm’s way.’

Neither the shop nor the drain cleaner manufacturer were available for comment.



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