A little girl has lost six fingers during a tragic accident involving rubbish that was fly-tipped near her home.
Bella, who was eight at the time, suffered the life-changing injuries in April of this year, while she was playing in the alleyway behind her home in Salford.
Mum Kerry Ratcliffe says the young girl was playing and “making a den”, when she stepped on a garden table that had been dumped in the lane.
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Recalling the devastating moment, the 34-year-old mum explained Bella was standing on top of the fly-tipped table when it wobbled and she attempted to grab the fence.
Speaking to the MEN, Kerry said: “Bella was standing on a table, it wobbled, and her fingers came off.
“It’s heartbreaking, we heard screaming and a neighbour ran over and then my son pushed me back inside and said ‘She has got no fingers’, then I collapsed.
“She was in Wythenshawe Hospital. She was in surgery for 12 hours to reattach. It did not go to plan.”
Bella, now 9, is “adapting really well” and taking huge steps forward, including returning to school.
One day, Bella will have a prosthetic hand, Kerry added.
However, the mum-of-five says she is “still at a loss as to what’s happened”.
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Since the accident, Kerry has moved her family to Winton, also in Salford, to be closer to her family.
However, the full-time mum is now calling on the authorities to make sure the alleyway — which neighbours claim is a hot spot for fly-tipping — is secured.
“There’s a private entrance with iron gates,” Kerry said. “They told us that they had cut off the locks. Then it became a hotspot for fly-tipping.
“The gates are always open. The neighbours said they have complained about them for years.”
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Following the incident, Salford council confirmed the land is owned by ForHousing, a housing association.
Its executive director of homes said that the organisation was “extremely sorry” to hear about Bella’s accident.
“The security fence at the rear of the homes at Kestrel Avenue was put in place several years ago after local neighbours raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping in the area,” Nigel Sedman added in a statement.
“In April, a neighbour reported that this incident had taken place, and we immediately visited the site to check it was safe. We will continue to offer support and work with the local community.”
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