Maple Ridge mom upset after son is accidentally poked with needle
A Maple Ridge mother is facing her worst nightmare after her four-year-old son accidentally poked himself with a needle that he found while playing outside.
Melissa Cook was bringing groceries into her apartment in Maple Courts, located on 224th Street and 121st Avenue, on March 11, while her three sons were playing right outside.
When she walked back outside, she said, her 11-year-old son told her that his brother, Kesler Wied, had picked up a needle off of the ground.
She told The TIMES she immediately took the needle, and checked Kesler for anything that would suggest he’d been poked.
Then, she took the needle to her apartment manager, which she noted had blood inside the barrel of the needle, as well as on the needle.
She showed it to the manager, alongside eight RCMP officers who were also in the building, and asked what she should do.
The Mounties asked her if Kesler had “been stabbed,” and she said “no,” to which they responded “okay,” and took the needle, she said.
Moments later, the officers knocked on her apartment door, asking Cook where the needle was found, and confirming that her son hadn’t been poked, she said. Cook surveyed her sons hand again, and found an “incision between his right thumb and forefinger,” she said.
Asking the officers what to do, “they just said go to the clinic or to the hospital,” and asked her if she had transportation and left, she said.
Upon arriving at the hospital, the mom was told Kesler would need to undergo tests for HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B.
“They told me that no matter what, it would test negative because it was too soon,” she said.
Although, according to Fraser Health, the rate of infection or disease via needle is low, Kesler will still have to be tested every three months for the next year.
“We have to go in every three months and be reminded of what happened,” she said.
During the past few days, Cook said she’s been “literally numb.”
“I can be fine for a couple hours, and then something clicks and I go back into crying,” she explained. “Yesterday, I was angry.”
She has told the story of what happened to Kesler on Facebook, she said, and has received both sympathy and criticism.
“Somebody wrote me a comment on how I should be considerate and have kind thoughts for the drug addict – compassion,” she said.
“I do have compassion, I had some friends go through drugs and get clean... I don’t have compassion for people who are leaving needles, and not having compassion for my son who could be playing.”
The mom added that she’s “so happy [Kessler] is the age he is... he has no clue what’s going on.”
“He’s a fighter – he’s my fighter,” she said. “My other two are very sensitive and he’s very vibrant and out there.”
Ridge Meadows RCMP advise citizens that if needles are found discarded they should contact their local police and the needles will be discarded safely. Adults should also pass along to children not to touch needles, and no one should touch needles without proper training.
- Instructions on how to dispose of needles safely, provided by Fraser Health can be found here.
- The City of Maple Ridge can also be contacted at 604-463-5221. City staff will direct the call to the appropriate staff members for action. If a needle is found after hours, call 604-463-9581.
UPDATE - "Although the rate of infection or disease via needle is statistically low," now included "Although, according to Fraser Health, the rate of infection or disease via needle is low," as cited on Fraser Health's website.