The mother of an eight-year-old girl who pricked her finger on a dirty syringe hidden in a toy doll has told of her family’s terrifying three month wait to find out if she has HIV.
The Standard revealed last week how Grace Hyde, who won the china doll at a charity tombola in Skegness, hurt herself on the hypodermic syringe concealed in the toy’s petticoat.
Now Grace’s horrified mum Katie has recounted the horrible moment she had to rush her daughter to hospital for blood tests.
“I am horrified that my daughter was pricked by a dirty needle - a needle that could very well have been used by someone to inject drugs,” said mum-of-three Katie.
“I thought the needle might have been a diabetic one but the police said it was unlikely because it has a plunger and most diabetics use pens with the insulin dose already in it.
“As a parent you want to protect your children and it is horrific to think they can have their lives risked by playing with a doll they won on a tombola.”
Grace pricked herself when she took the cap off the needle while playing with it but it wasn’t until she told her step-sister that Katie found out the horrific news.
“I dread to think what could have happened in the time between the injury and Grace telling me,” she said.
“I was terrified, I mean anything could have been in that needle - it must have been put in there deliberately, a hypodermic needle doesn’t just magically get into the clothes of a doll.”
Grace was taken to Boston Pilgrim where she was vaccinated against hepatitis B but Katie says it could be a year before they get the all clear.
And while they wait, the family have grown more fearful of their children’s safety.
“It’s certainly changed all of us,” said Katie.
“I’m far more wary of these kinds of things, I will check all of the children’s toys before they play with them now.
“Grace is less sure about dolls now as well - she loved them so much and would run up to the stall whenever she saw one but now she doesn’t want to play with them so much.”
Katie says the stall holder was ‘mortified’ and couldn’t believe what had happened, having bought the doll from a car boot stall like she did with all the others.
“I think these stall holders really need to be careful with what they sell - if they pick stuff up from car boot sales it could have anything in,” said Katie.