Leeds boy in coma after 'fatal' Spanish swimming pool accident


A 7 year-old boy who effectively 'died' in a Mallorcan swimming pool accident is in a comatose state at a Leeds hospital. Doctors believe he has suffered long-term brain damage.

Holiday Accident Abroad

Callum Wingate was playing in the shallow part of a hotel pool in Playa Blanca, Mallorca, at around 8am on 29 July. He and his family were on the 2nd day of their holiday on the popular Spanish island.

When Callum slipped into the pool's deeper 2-metre area, his mother had assumed her son, whose swimming ability is basic, was out of the pool and accompanied by his 13 year-old brother Robert.

On seeing the apparently lifeless body at the bottom of the pool, Callum's other brother James, 12, alerted their mother. Although the boys' father jumped into the water to pull Callum out, Mr Wingate was unable to detect breathing or a pulse.

Mrs Wingate, a 35 year-old childminder, said her son was "pure blue. He was dead."

After half-an-hour, medics were able to revive the 7 year-old, who was taken to a local hospital. However, following 12 days of treatment Callum was discharged and flown home to Britain, his Spanish physicians having advised the family to prepare for the worst.

Callum remains in a comatose state in Leeds General Infirmary. He has regular spasms and is believed to have sustained potentially long-term brain damage.

Mr Wingate, 48, said that his son was fighting. "We have got to believe he can get better."

His wife added: "They told us we were bringing him home to die. As long as he's alive, I know I can deal with whatever else is wrong with him."

Nick Harris, Head of International Travel Law at Simpson Millar commented: "This is a tragic case and one that should be highlighted to all parents as the first day of family holiday's abroad is the most likely day that accidents can occur. Safety standards abroad are completely different to those in the UK and everyone needs to be vigilant to ensure all members of your family, young or old are kept safe."

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