A teenager who got his neck trapped in a freak railings accident is fighting for his life in hospital.
As prayers were offered at masses in Kinsale, Co Cork, yesterday for the recovery of 14-year-old Leon Connon, details emerged last night of the heroic efforts neighbours made to save him after the accident in the town on Saturday.
And it emerged that Leon’s distraught mother was one of the first on the scene.
Kinsale RNLI crewman Killian Murphy, who was among several people who performed CPR on the stricken teenager, said the entire town is hoping the second-year student of Kinsale Community College will pull through.
He helped perform CPR on the boy for almost an hour before they finally managed to restore a pulse. “It was very faint but we finally got a pulse. We are all just hoping now that he pulls through,” he said.
Leon was with friends in The Orchards estate area of the town when the incident occurred at about 7pm. While gardaí are still investigating, they are treating the incident as a tragic accident.
Initial reports suggested that Leon complained of feeling unwell and went to rest near the 4ft-high railings, which block a well-used short cut to the town, but collapsed or fainted, trapping his head in the upper railings.
But it was also suggested that Leon may have been trying to scale the fence, lost his footing on a low concrete plinth, and fell on to the upper railings, striking his windpipe. The weight of his body then put extra pressure on his windpipe, cutting off the supply of oxygen.
Some of Leon’s friends panicked when they could not lift him off, or revive him, and ran to local houses to raise the alarm.
Mr Murphy, who lives in The Orchards, said when he got there, Leon had been freed and was lying unresponsive, on the ground. A neighbour was trying to perform CPR while the teen’s distraught mother looked on. More people were alerted by her screaming and ran to help.
Mr Murphy said: “I took over then. People were screaming ‘he’s dead, he’s dead’.” Another member of Kinsale RNLI, Fergus Grey, arrived and both men worked frantically on the teenager before three members of Kinsale Fire Brigade arrived on the scene. Mr Murphy said they continued CPR, until about an hour in, they finally got a pulse.
Leon was then taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he remains in a critical condition. Residents have now called on the town council to examine the area with a view to making the short cut safer.
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