School Took Too Long To Act After Child's Finger Severed In Door, Mom Says


An Ohio mother has complained that staff at her 11-year-old son's school took too long to react to a medical emergency that her child endured.

Nikolas Horner, a fifth-grade student at Lake Middle School in Millbury, Ohio, told 13 ABC that the incident occurred on Feb. 8 when his P.E. teacher accidentally shut the gym door on his finger.

"The door would not shut so he pushed it hard and he didn't know and I was screaming and I looked at it and passed out," Nikolas said, adding that he had gotten the middle finger of his right hand caught in the opened crack of the door.

"It was blood everywhere," he added.

Nikolas, whose finger tip was severed clean off, said he passed out and hit his head on the ground immediately after the incident. His teacher reportedly carried him to the principal's office, where he said he stayed for the next 40 to 45 minutes.

Nikolas's mother, Sarah Horner, told 13 ABC that she is upset over the amount of time school officials took to notify her of the accident and the fact that none of them thought to call 911 to get medical help for her son.

"Let's call the ambulance and then let's call the mom and say hey this is where we took your child. This is what happened," Sarah said. "Not one time that none of the people in that office have any common sense with that."

She added that the staff member who finally called to ask her to pick up her son from the school told her the child just had "a pretty large gash" on his finger. 

"Having a finger cut off and having a gash are two completely different things," Sarah said.

The school district addressed the incident in this message posted on its website, which contradicts some of the details as reported by the boy and his mother:

On February 8, 2016 a Lake Middle School student accidentally had his finger shut in a door at 1:00 p.m. causing the tip of the finger to be severed.  Immediately after the accident, Lake Local Schools' personnel took the young man to the restroom to get the finger wrapped and to get the bleeding stopped. At 1:02, the student was taken to the middle school office where our secretary, who is a licensed athletic trainer, immediately took over and treated the wound. She was also assisted by one of our custodians who is a retired EMT. Mr. Ackerman called the mother of the student at 1:07 to notify her of the situation and she dispatched a relative to the middle school to pick him up. The family member arrived at the middle school between 1:20 and 1:25 to take the injured student for medical attention. Before leaving campus, the family member stopped at the high school to pick up an additional student.

A couple of points worth noting: 

  • The young man was never left unattended.
  • The young man never fell, lost consciousness, or was concussed.
  • There was minimal blood loss. 

During the fifteen to twenty minutes in the office, the student was texting and talking about the Super Bowl in a calm, coherent manner.

Nikolas eventually had his finger tip stitched back on, according to 13 ABC. His concussion will have to be monitored for at least two weeks, and he will likely have to undergo plastic surgery on his finger, Sarah said. There is reportedly a 50 percent chance that the finger will be fully functional again.

Sarah said she plans to remove her children from the school district. 

Sources: 13 ABC, Lake Local Schools Website / Photo Credit: 13 ABC, Shinichi Sugiyama/Flickr

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