It was a typical shopping trip to Kmart only this time it ended in disaster as one mum was left fearing her daughter might have lost her eyesight.
Mum Hayley Skye Smith had been shopping at her local Toormina store for a winter jacket for her 20-month-old daughter Amaia when the unthinkable happened.
Young Amaia had been looking at a selection of colourful headbands and jewellery right next to the rack of jackets where mum Hayley was looking, however when the little one leaned forward to grab something a metal prong on the end of the rack went right into her eye.
“I heard her crying and didn’t know exactly what had happened until Tohri told me. I thought maybe she accidentally walked into the trolley but I was very wrong,” Hayley tells Be, refering to her sister Tohri who was right by Amaia when it happened.
“I picked her up to comfort her, saying I’m going to carry her from now on. Then she looked at me with her eye full of blood.
“Immediately I panicked and ran over to the young bag check boy a few short metres away. He then panicked and didn’t know what to do as he saw my daughter’s eye and nose begin pouring out blood.”
Then in a brief moment, Amaia stopped crying. When her mum checked to see why she saw Amaia had gone floppy and was unresponsive.
“My heart sunk to my stomach. My stomach was in my feet and my head was in the clouds. So many things were running through my head. I thought maybe the prong could have gone as far as her brain and I was a mess,” Hayley says.
Thankfully it wasn’t long before Amaia regained consciousness and the staff – who, Hayley says were ‘all lovely’ – assisted them to the back room as they waited for an ambulance.
“We looked at my daughter’s eye and there was just a big blood clot over it and I screamed ‘oh my god. I don’t want her to be blind,’ I was so scared, my legs were getting weak and I was breaking a sweat from all the shock,” Hayley says.
Poor Amaia was completely traumatised, refusing to break away from her mother’s grip until they got to the hospital and it came time to asses the damage.
Fortunately, it was revealed that her eyeball was okay and the metal prong had gone under her eyelid instead, however, had it been the tiniest bit lower, little Amaia could have lost her eye.
Naturally, mum Hayley – who was still monitoring her daughter’s swollen eye for the next few days – is pretty shaken up by the whole ordeal and is wanting to raise awareness about the potential dangers of similar shopping racks.
“It terrifies me how dangerous these things are and that things could have gone so much worse because even I’ve walked close to one of these racks before and scratched my arm. I want my story out there so other people can be aware and not go through what I had to.”
Be contacted Kmart for comment who said they are deeply concerned for the well-being of the family.
“At Kmart we take safety extremely seriously,” a spokesperson said.
“As with any incident of this nature, we’ll look at whether there are any ways we can make the store safer and prevent an incident such as this happening to anyone else.”