Mum’s disgust at strangers who ignored children crying for help

Mum's disgust at strangers who ignored children crying for help

A mum who snapped her ankle when she slipped down an embankment was left disgusted by strangers who ignored children screaming for help.

Kathryn Cotham, 27, from Haydock was walking back through Carr Mill Dam in St Helens on Sunday 19, with her seven-year-old daughter Grace and three children belonging to a neighbour.

They had spent the day out eating ice cream and visiting the boathouse before they walked back through the picturesque lakeside trail.

Kathryn said: “There’s an overflow at the dam with stone steps.

“There was a bit of moss on the floor and as I went to go to the kids I slipped on the moss and I heard my ankle snap.

“I went down and saw my foot was facing the other way.”

The fall had broken Kathryn’s ankle in three places and caused the bone to poke out.

Unable to move, she asked the kids to go up to the pathway above the embankment to try and get some help.

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She said: “The kids were quite upset. I was in pain and I was trying not to show it to them even though the bone had poked out a bit.

“I could hear the kids shouting and screaming for somebody to come and help and everyone was just ignoring them.

“At one point the oldest child Lily came back in tears saying nobody will listen to us.”

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Finally, after nearly 10 minutes of the children pleading for help, two women and a man came down the embankment and phoned for an ambulance.

The mum and daughter who came down to comfort Kathryn and the children until the paramedics arrived told her they had seen people just walking past the kids before they come over.

“They said they couldn’t dream of ignoring them in distress and they were brilliant,” said Kathryn: “They made the kids laugh and really helped calm to calm them down.”

Paramedics were able to bring her up off the embankment and take her to Whiston Hospital.

Left to right - Lily 8, Grace 7, Alyssia 7 and Kian 6 were upset after their cries for help were ignored after Grace's mum slipped and broke her ankle
Left to right – Lily 8, Grace 7, Alyssia 7 and Kian 6 were upset after their cries for help were ignored after Grace’s mum slipped and broke her ankle
(Image: Kathryn Cotham)

Kathryn, who is a student nurse, had an operation to pin her broken ankle back in place and is now in plaster still waiting to be discharged from Whiston.

She told the ECHO that what has upset her more than the break is the fact that so many adults walked past the visibly upset children without trying to help.

Kathryn Cotham had to have her ankle operated on after the fall snapped her ankle in three places
Kathryn Cotham had to have her ankle operated on after the fall snapped her ankle in three places
(Image: Kathryn Cotham)

She added: “I would understand a bit more if it was teenagers in hoodies but it was four children between the ages of six and eight crying for help. You just wouldn’t ignore them.

“I’m just thankful to my amazing neighbours Steven and Roxanne Johnson for coming as soon as they could to get the kids and stay with me until I went in the ambulance.”

Paramedics helping Kathryn Cotham near the stone steps by the embankment at Carr Mill Dam where she fell
Paramedics helping Kathryn Cotham near the stone steps by the embankment at Carr Mill Dam where she fell
(Image: Roxanne Johnson)

Eight-year-old Lily who was the oldest child in the group was particularly upset at the lack of help from passers-by.

Her mum, Kara Potter, 28, said: “I’m disgusted that a group of kids all under the age of eight wanted help and you’ve got adults just ignoring them.

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“Lily came home and burst into tears and she said even when we were asking for help off adults they were just walking past.

“When she went to bed that night, all she kept saying was we had no help mum. It’s all that keeps playing on her mind.

“I hope it never happens to them ever, that they need help.”

Liverpool Echo – Liverpool News