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Parents say 'poor first aid' at school changed their daughter's life

Abbi Holland was three-years-old when she fell over in the school playground and scraped her knee. Photo: MEN Syndication

The parents of a young girl left with a serious heart condition after cutting her knee at school say a lack of basic first aid changed their daughter’s life forever.

Abbi Holland was three-years-old when she fell over in the school playground and scraped her knee.

They say her graze wasn’t cleaned properly or covered with a plaster, and she was just told to wipe it down with a wet paper towel.

Later that night the youngster became severely unwell, her temperature soared to 43c and she was rushed to hospital where she spent the next four months.

Last month Abbi, now seven, who lives in Blackley, underwent open heart surgery to repair the damaged valve caused by an infection from the uncleaned cut.

Abbi Holland Credit: MEN Syndication

She is recovering well at home, but will be on medication for the rest of her life, and will require further operations on her heart in the future.

Mum Caz, 37, and dad Dave, 43, have since launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of basic first aid to make sure no child, or adult, ends up having to go through what Abbi has been through.

Dave said: “You just don’t think this could happen as a result of a fall in a playground.

“It’s an eye opener, that something so small and simple could be life changing.”

He explained that Abbi was treated in 2013 at North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH), but was transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for scans which revealed the infection from the cut had caused her aortic valve to leak.

But the youngster struggled to fight the infection, suffering severe reactions to every antibiotic that doctors tried.

Eventually she was stabilised and moved to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where her parents were told that one day she would need surgery to repair the damage that had been done.

Last year, scans found another leak in Abbi’s heart, and she went under the knife on January 16.

Abbi Holland and her mother Caz Credit: MEN Syndication

Dave added: “To be told that they are going to have to stop your little girl’s heart and there’s no guarantee they will be able to start it again is terrifying. “Then to hear that if they did manage to there was a chance she could be brain damaged – well you wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.

“We are not trying to bad mouth or blacklist anyone, we just want to promote basic first aid and get the message out about how important it is."

“Such a simple thing caused this and we wouldn’t want to see anyone go through what Abbi has been through.

“It’s not over for her yet, this has changed her life forever and she’s going to need more surgery when she’s older.”

– Abbi Holland's dad Dave

The family, who have four other children, are also hoping to raise money for NMGH to buy new toys for the children’s ward that cared for Abbi.