Mother’s horror at son’s 33-stitch arm injury at holiday park

PUBLISHED: 16:46 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 15 January 2020

Wendy Pullinger with her son Reece Derham. PHOTO: Wendy Pullinger

Wendy Pullinger with her son Reece Derham. PHOTO: Wendy Pullinger


A teenage boy has been left with two “major” scars after needing 33 stitches when a pane of glass smashed over his arm at a holiday park.

Pontins, Pakefield.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherPontins, Pakefield. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Reece Derham's mother Wendy Pullinger has now called on Pontins in Pakefield to accept responsibility for the incident, more than five months later.

The then-13-year-old suffered 60pc tendon damage in his arm in the immediate aftermath, although has since regained almost all movement after lengthy physiotherapy sessions.

Miss Pullinger, from Kent, said: "My son and I were on holiday with my friend and her son. We were packing to leave so our boys went to the dinner hall first. We joined them and they asked if they could go off on their scooters because they'd finished.

"There was a pane of glass in the door and he put his hand on it but his arm went straight through. My friend's son ran back and we thought it was a wind up at first, but then Reece came in holding his arm and there was so much blood. It was horrendous."

The injury to Reece Derham's arm. PHOTO: Wendy PullingerThe injury to Reece Derham's arm. PHOTO: Wendy Pullinger

An ambulance was called and the teenager was taken to the James Paget Hospital for treatment, before being taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for an operation, with Miss Pullinger praising the "incredible" staff.

The 53-year-old said: "We ended up staying another night because of how late it was when we got back. All Pontins could do was give us an accident report form.

"Reece doesn't say a lot about it but he has to live these two major scars.

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"He had to go back to hospital every couple of weeks, and have the stitches out the day before his 14th birthday, so his whole summer was ruined. He couldn't play any sport until November.

"It took him a long time before he could write again."

CCTV footage showed the two boys leaving the dining hall in the moments before the incident, which was not caught on CCTV.

Pontins, who have made the site "adults only" for 2020, claim show the boys were travelling on their scooters at excessive speed, a claim which Miss Pullinger rejects.

The door at Pontins in Pakefield. PHOTO: Wendy PullingerThe door at Pontins in Pakefield. PHOTO: Wendy Pullinger

She said: "There wasn't enough room for them to pick up enough speed, but they told us anyone under 18 should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

"Although they have wished him a speedy recovery, they won't take responsibility.

"We had been to this place three or four times before and never had any issues.

"I remember seeing that door with broken glass before so I do wonder whether it has happened in the past, and it makes me suspicious why it is now adults only."

Pontins have been approched for comment.

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