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6yo Boy's Life Support To Be Turned Off After 'Severe Accident' With Sea World Penguin Toy

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From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:


6yo boy's life support to be turned off after 'severe accident' with Sea World toy
By Tara Cassidy

People queue to enter the Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast

A toy bought at Sea World has allegedly caused critical injuries to a six-year-old boy.(AAP Image: Regi Varghese)

Key points:

  • Six-year-old Deklan Babington-MacDonald is not expected to survive
  • Village Roadshow Theme Parks says it has removed the toy involved from sale
  • A recall would only come after a full investigation
  • Deklan Babington-MacDonald has been on life support in the Queensland Children's Hospital since last Sunday.

A Gold Coast theme park says it has removed a toy from its shelves after a six-year-old boy was allegedly left fighting for his life after playing with it.

His family said he had a "severe accident" at their Nerang home while playing with a toy purchased from Sea World.

They performed CPR on the boy before he was flown to hospital to be treated for critical injuries.

Deklan's family have stayed by his side in the hospital intensive care unit, but have been told by doctors his injuries were "beyond recovery" and his life support would be turned off in the next 48 hours.

"Deklan's mum and the family are dedicated to their little man and want to be by his side during his care," the family wrote on a fundraising page.

Sea World vows to assist with investigations

In a statement, Village Roadshow Theme Parks said it was distressed to learn about the accident and would fully cooperate into all investigations into the matter.

It said health and safety was the park's highest priority and it had removed the toy in question from sale.

A park spokesperson described the toy as a "plush-toy walker" with a penguin wearing a harness on one end, attached to long stick or lead.

The spokesperson said the toy was removed as a precaution at this stage, but that any further action — such as a recall — would only come after a full investigation.

"We need to understand the circumstances around what has occurred. We will also be reaching out to Deklan's family to offer support" the statement said.

The fundraising page, set up by the Babington and MacDonald families, said money would  "go toward Deklan's memorial and allow [Deklan's mother] to make an important keepsake with Deklan's ashes when the time is right".

The Australian also reports:


The family of Deklan Labington-MacDonald are “angry” over the mishap and have called on police to investigate the incident and the safety of the toy.

The boy was critically injured by a toy, similar to the one pictured, with the family describing the object as a ‘penguin on a harness attached to a stiff lead.’

The boy was critically injured by a toy, similar to the one pictured, with the family describing the object as a ‘penguin on a harness attached to a stiff lead.’ Picture: Supplied

The boy was critically injured by a toy, similar to the one pictured, with the family describing the object as a ‘penguin on a harness attached to a stiff lead.’ Picture: Supplied

“We will not be making any further comment until all the facts are known.” a Village Roadshow Theme Parks spokesman said.

Cousin Lea Williams said the toy was bought for Deklan four days before the accident.

“It was a toy bought from SeaWorld on the Gold Coast … it had a long lead that was made stiff with a pole but the pole came out. It broke and turned into basically a long rope with a loop on the end. In a very short amount of time Deklan became entangled. The police took it away.” Ms Williams told NCA NewsWire.

Ms Williams said the family was too consumed with Deklan’s fate to focus on the safety of the toy, although they hope police investigate and Sea World management respond accordingly.

“We are just reeling and we are struggling to come to terms with how it occurred. It was a toy that was bought four days earlier from SeaWorld. It ended up being really dangerous and we are really angry, but we haven’t got our heads around it and can’t focus on it. The police were investigating, they took the toy with them and we hope they follow through with that. When the family has the capacity to look into it more and follow it up they will, but we are focusing on Deklan right now.” she said.

Police have confirmed they attended a Nerang address on Anzac Day following reports a six-year-old child was “found unresponsive”.

However, they would not comment on whether the toy had been seized nor if an investigation was underway.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident. There is no further information we can release about the incident at this time” they told NCA Newswire.

Ms Williams organised a fundraiser page which was initially to assist the family through Deklan’s medical treatment. The money will now be used for the boy’s funeral.

His distraught mother, Lauren Babington, has been keeping a bedside vigil as extended family members rushed from interstate to provide comfort and pray for the six-year-old.

Doctors overnight have told Ms Babington the machines keeping her son alive will be turned off within 48 hours.

His aunt, Caity MacDonald, told family and friends on Facebook the shattering news that doctors had decided to withdraw life support.

“Lauren (Deklan’s mum) has asked me to share that the doctors have advised that Deklan is beyond recovery. Deklan’s life support will be withdrawn in the next 48 hours. As you can understand this is a devastating time for the family so please respect their privacy and understand they won’t be able to talk on the phone. They are reading the messages of support and appreciate all the love and kindness shown by the community” Caitlin posted on social media.


Edited by Jamberoo Fan
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