Schoolboy's hand left paralysed in freak accident while skimming stones

·3-min read
Oliver Quarte was paralysed and needed emergency surgery after he sliced the tendons in his hand  while skimming stones at the seaside (SWNS)
Oliver Quarte was paralysed and needed emergency surgery after he sliced the tendons in his hand while skimming stones at the seaside. (SWNS)

A schoolboy has been left with long-term injuries after he sliced the tendons in his hand while skimming stones at the seaside.

Oliver Quarte was rushed for emergency surgery after the freak accident on Hastings beach during the summer holidays.

The nine-year-old was on a family day out and skimming stones when one hit a concrete pier and smashed into shards.

One shard bounced back and sliced into Oliver's hand, completely severing the tendons to his middle finger and severely damaging several others.

Oliver, 9, will need intensive physiotherapy to regain use of his hand (SWNS)
Oliver, 9, will need intensive physiotherapy to regain use of his hand (SWNS)
Oliver Quarte was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery (SWNS)
Oliver Quarte was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery (SWNS)

With blood pouring from his left hand, the schoolboy was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. It was then that doctors discovered his hand was partially paralysed.

Parents Daniel and Bianca Quarte, both 43, were watching Oliver from a nearby restaurant when they heard him scream.

Software developer Daniel said: "As soon as we heard Oliver's scream, we felt terror and my heart stopped when my wife mouthed 'hospital' after seeing his hand.

"When the paramedics mentioned surgery and said the fingers weren't moving, I realised how serious it was.

"I realised this was a potentially life-changing injury."

Two weeks after the surgery, Oliver is now regaining a little movement in his hand, but his father said full recovery could take months of intensive physiotherapy.

Oliver's parents have warned of the dangers of skimming stones (SWNS)
Oliver's parents have warned of the dangers of skimming stones. (SWNS)

"We want to warn other parents - we aren't saying don't skim stones but be aware of the dangers," said Quarte, who went on to describe how severely his son was injured.

"We struggled to stem the bleeding and people were gathering along the promenade to offer assistance," he said.

Some 100% of the tendon controlling Oliver's middle finger had been cut, as well as up to 30% damage to the tendons either side.

After spending the night at Queen Victoria Hospital, West Sussex, specialist surgeons made a four-inch long cut to repair the damage.

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He had dozens of stitches before being sent home with a heavily bandaged arm - and a set of strict instructions from physiotherapists.

Oliver now has to do a set of hand exercises three times a day for 12 weeks if he ever hopes to regain movement in his fingers.

His family has been warned there is no guarantee of success.

Daniel said: "There seems to be a bit of improvement but we are not out of the woods yet.

Oliver Quarte with a friend on the beach near Hastings before the incident (SWNS)
Oliver Quarte with a friend on the beach near Hastings before the incident. (SWNS)

"There is the worry of long-term damage, both physically and mentally.

"We have to wash the wound every day but Oliver can't bear to look at it - there's clearly some emotional trauma.

"We don't know for sure how much movement Oliver will get back but we have to hope for the best."

He added: "We aren't saying don't go to the beach, or even don't skim stones - but just be careful.

"We have since found out a friend of ours had a similar incident, so it might not be as unlikely as it sounds.

"People should at least be aware of the risk."

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