A Hartlepool couple face an agonising three-month wait to find out whether their son has HIV after he stood on a discarded syringe which had been thrown into the family garden.
Three-year-old Logan Pearce was playing in the garden of the family home in Windermere Road with twin brother Dexter when he stepped on the syringe.
Devastated mum Sammi says she found two further syringes laid in her garden, which she believes were thrown inside.
“Dexter came in and said Logan had found something and was trying to stab him with it,” Sammi said, who was in the kitchen with a friend.
“When I saw what it was, I just panicked.
“I phoned 111, and they sent me to the emergency care centre, who said they didn’t have anybody who could take blood, so they sent me to A&E at North Tees.
He has had an injection for hepatitis B - then in three months we found out whether he has got HIV.Sammi Fleetham
“He has had an injection for hepatitis B - then in three months we find out whether he has got HIV.
“We have a three-month wait which is just unthinkable - fingers crossed he is going to be okay.
“It is horrendous - you don’t think anything like that will happen.
“I have found people in the garden before - with being a corner house we have had people in the garden looking through the kids’ toys.
“I have found bottles that have been thrown over the fence but never in a million years would I have thought somebody would have done something like this - you can see its a bairn’s garden.
“I put a second lock on the gate to keep the kids safe in the garden. It is like their haven, it is somewhere they can play, where they are safe - but they are not even safe there.”
Logan said: “I standed on the spikey thing and now I have got a hole in my foot.
“Mummy took me to the doctor and the nice lady checked my finger and checked my blood pressure.
“It made me feel not very happy - it made me sad.”
Sammi’s partner Ricky Pearce is working in Africa, and she was trying to keep him up to date on what was happening.
“He is in Angola, working so it was really difficult for him,” she said.
“He was out there and I was trying to keep him informed. He was trying to ring me.”
She is full of praise for the NHS and Hartlepoool Borough Council: “They were all lovely at the hospital - everyone was really good,” she said.
“And the council did come out straight away and picked the needles up. The woman put it down as an emergency because there were kids in the garden and the man was here in about 45 minutes.”