Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Boy, 6, left brain damaged after being crushed by arcade game on holiday

Doctors battled to save Oscar's life for three hours before he was placed into an induced coma Credit: Family photo / Slater and Gordon

The parents of a boy who was left with brain damage after an arcade game toppled over and hit him on holiday have launched legal action.

Oscar Donnelly, aged 6, was also left with a rare form of diabetes and a paralysed face after he was knocked unconscious by the 6ft darts machine in the Spanish resort of Lloret de Mar.

The schoolboy was staying at the Aparthotel Costa Encantada with his two older brothers and parents Luke Donnelly, 30, and Samantha Matthews, 29, from Cardiff, who have now launched legal action against the hotel.

They claim staff failed to anchor the arcade game securely to the floor, and say it was tipped on top of their youngest son by the vibrations from a nearby punchbag machine in the play area of the hotel.

A darts machine fell and hit 6-year-old Oscar Donnelly Credit: Family photo / Slater and Gordon

One of his brothers witnessed the incident during the last few hours of the family's 10-day holiday last September and alerted the couple, who found their son unconscious with his head covered in blood.

Miss Matthews, a care worker, said she feared her son had died after he was admitted to a hospital in Girona.

She said: "We were taken up to intensive care, still not knowing if Oscar was alive. We broke down thinking the worst as we were led into the family room and they told us that it was 'not looking good'."

Doctors battled to save Oscar's life for three hours before he was placed into an induced coma and put on life support as they monitored a bleed and swelling to his brain.

Credit: Google Street View

His injuries included a punctured lung and a fractured skull, and he was left permanently deaf in his left ear.

He was also left with an eye condition meaning he cannot blink and needs regular tear replacement drops, and needs his eyelid taping shut at night.

Oscar also developed diabetes insipidus, a rare life-long disorder which means his body cannot retain enough water.

His parents said they have "struggled" to deal with his medical problems, which include facial paralysis.

Mr Donnelly, a welder, said: "Oscar has changed so much. Before he was a confident and bubbly little boy, but now he gets easily frustrated, tired, confused and upset a lot.

"He never used to be aggressive at all but now he can become quite angry and lashes out. It is a constant reminder of what has happened to him.

Yasmina Villa-Lopez, a travel lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which is representing the family in their legal action, said: "Luckily we know that Oscar will survive this horrendous incident but what is unclear is how much this injury will affect the rest of his life and what long-term damage has been done to his brain and body.

"It's clear that something went terribly wrong here and that all games like this must be secure and pose no risk of harm to children or any other holidaymakers."

Aparthotel Costa Encantada has been approached for comment.