THE parents of a Dundalk teenager who broke his neck when he fell from a height at the site of the new St Vincent de Paul centre on the Inner Relief Road have said their son is lucky to be alive.
Seamus Jervis, aged 17, from Grange Drive, Muirhevnamor was with friends when he fell and seriously injured himself at the building site adjacent to the Holy Family Church and Dundalk Retail Park on Saturday, January 14 around 1pm.
The youngster’s father, Patrick, told The Dundalk Democrat that if it hadn’t been for the quick response and treatment of the paramedics, himself and his wife, Denise, might have had to bury Seamus.
“Seamus had only been away from the house for ten minutes when his two friends came to the door and told me what had happened. He had jumped from one stairwell to another and fallen 15ft,” said Patrick.
“I want the public and especially parents to be aware of the dangers. I went up there the other day and chased some kids off the site after telling them about my son. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.
“Kids are accessing the site through a broken fence. I’d like the owner and the contractor to close off the place immediately and to fix the fence to prevent people from getting onto the site. Maybe they could also hire a security guard to keep an eye on the place.”
After Seamus was treated at the scene by paramedics, he was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda for further treatment and tests. After undergoing a scan, doctors discovered that he had broken the C7 bone in his neck and suffered a lot of internal bruising.
The former O’Fiaich College student returned home in a neck brace on Friday, January 20 and will be immobile for at least one month or possibly longer. His mother, Denise, said that she is very grateful to the paramedics who treated Seamus.
“I’m lucky I’m not burying him. I’ve already had a few deaths in the family recently including a nephew and my father who died last October. My husband had a stroke on Christmas Eve and now this. I just can’t take any more,” she said.
“Patrick got an awful shock when he saw Seamus after the fall. He was one of the first people on the scene. There was blood coming out of his mouth and that scared him.
“He took a turn and was very weak.
“I just want something done about that site. I’m afraid that I will hear about a wee child who has fallen and hurt themselves. I’d like for every parent and grandparent to make sure that their young ones aren’t playing there.”
Dundalk area President of the Society of the St Vincent de Paul, Liam O’Reilly, said that the site is not yet owned by the charity but he said SVP would contact the site’s owner to notify the contractor about the concerns expressed by Seamus Jervis’ parents.