Heartbroken parents warn of blind cord peril

Bryan Saba had only just moved from italy to live with his family in Portadown
Bryan Saba had only just moved from italy to live with his family in Portadown

A couple whose toddler son died in a tragic blind cord accident have bravely spoken out to warn other people of the dangers.

Feliciano and Maria Jose Saba say their grief is so intense they don’t want anybody else to go through the same pain.

Their son Bryan, aged two years and nine months, died last month, just two weeks after the accident at their home in Portadown.

The toddler never regained consciousness after the accident, which happened “within seconds” in the living room of the house.

His parents eventually made the agonising decision to allow his life support machine to be switched off, and to donate his organs to help other people.

The little boy, described by his parents as “very active and funny”, had only been in Portadown for two weeks when the tragedy occurred.

Now his parents, and Craigavon Intercultural Programme (CIP), which has been helping the family, want to raise awareness of the perils of blind cords.

Feliciana and Maria Jose said they were totally unaware of the dangers.

The couple, who had moved to Portadown from Italy, were accustomed to blinds with a single cord, which do not pose a risk.

Speaking with the assistance of Stephen and Hetty Smith of CIP, they told the Portadown Times that the death of their youngest child had left them heartbroken.

Little Bryan had been in the living room of the family home when the accident happened. His older sister had gone into the kitchen, leaving him unattended for a matter of seconds, and returned to find him entangled in the cord and unconscious.

Hetty said: “They call it a silent death, because the child’s head goes forward and they aren’t able to cry out or give any warning that they are in trouble.”

Feliciano, who was at work in Dungannon when the accident happened, said he felt a “heaviness that he couldn’t explain” and knew instinctively that something was wrong.

Bryan spent a fortnight in intensive care and never regained consciousness.

Hetty added: “His parents read and sang to him, and they had people everywhere praying for him.”

The couple also prayed hard for guidance before deciding to donate their son’s organs.

Maria Jose said: “They put him in my arms when they turned off the machine and then the nurse lifted him from me. I gave my son’s organs because I knew he was going to help others.

“The pain is hard to bear. He had a beautiful smile and he captured everyone’s hearts.

“When he was out, he wanted to say hello to everybody.”