WARNING: Graphic content
A brave youngster is helping to raise money for burns victims after he suffered severe wounds on his feet while walking on sand scorched by a disposable barbecue.
Will Tyler, 10, needed urgent medical treatment after he stepped on the burning spot his family had left the barbecue on Formby Beach in Merseyside.
He had been on a day out with parents Toby, 51, Claire, 44, and sister Lily, 12, in a remote sand dune at the time of the accident in June last year.
Will’s dad had to carry him for 20 minutes to get him into the car to rush him to hospital as his foot looked like “melted wax”.
The brave youngster spent nine days at Manchester Children’s Hospital and relied on a wheelchair to move after the incident.
While he is now able to walk unaided, he still wears compression socks 23 hours a day to protect the scars as well as a splint at night.
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Will has now recovered and is raising funds for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity to help other young burns patients – and has already smashed the original £888 target.
Will, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: “It was really difficult because it was last year during lockdown so my sister Lily and my dad weren’t able to visit me, I was only with my mum.
“But all the nurses were nice to me and everyone on the ward was really kind.
“It was hard because my injury was really painful but then the dressing changes were sometimes as painful as when I burnt myself.
“I also couldn’t walk for a while and I had to use a wheelchair and then crutches.”
Mr Tyler said the family are now trying to raise awareness because everyone they’ve told couldn’t believe how the sand could remain so hot even hours after the fire had been put out.
He said: “When we moved the barbecue, the top of the sand cooled in the atmosphere, but underneath it was still roasting hot as the heat had just been trapped there.
“We learned later it can stay dangerously hot for hours and hours.
“The kids were running around playing when suddenly Will just screamed. As a parent, it’s the worst sound I’d ever heard and it’s a sound I’ll never forget.
“He pulled his foot out of the sand and his skin was peeling off his foot like melted wax.”
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity's community fundraising officer Jo Thomas has been supporting the family with their fundraising, with more than £2,400 raised so far.
She said: “Will is such an inspiring young man and his enthusiasm for his fundraising is incredible
“He really has thrown all his energy into preparing for his challenges and everyone at the charity can’t wait to hear how they all go. I’m particularly looking forward to the head shave pictures!
“We want to thank Will and all his family and friends for not only fundraising a fantastic amount of money, but also raising awareness of such an important issue.”
You can donate to Will's fundraising challenge on his JustGiving page.
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