School acts after tragic death of tot

Little Bryan Saba. INPT42-030
Little Bryan Saba. INPT42-030

Free safety devices for blinds have been handed out to parents at Portadown Integrated Primary School (PIPS) following the tragic death of toddler Bryan Saba.

Bryan, aged two years and nine months, became entangled in the cord of a blind in the family’s living room. He spent two weeks in intensive care before his parents, Feliciano and Maria Jose, made the heartbreaking decision to allow his life support machine to be switched off.

Since the accident, Portadown Integrated PS, where Bryan’s sister Alassia is a P2 pupil, has been offering support to the family and also issued letters alerting other parents to the dangers.

One of those parents, John Hobson of Westend Blinds, who has children in P1 and P3, donated 2,000 safety devices. And he was at the school on Monday to help hand them out and explain how they worked.

Said principal Feargal Magee, “The safety devices make the blind taut against the side of the window. They create a tightness so that a child can’t pull the blind and play with it.

“Parents were queuing up to get them and John even offered to go out and fit them for free if anybody wasn’t sure how they worked.

“We have around 300 left and are now offering them to parents of the older pupils.”

He added, “The beads are very attractive to children - they can look like a necklace - and we heard of one child pretending the weight was a phone.

“John and other parents have been very moved by what happened, as have all the staff here. It was a huge shock when Bryan passed away.

“His parents are lovely people and we have offered any support we can give.

“Since the accident, they have been unable to go back to the house where it happened.”

Portadown Integrated PS is also happy to accept financial donations, which it will pass on to the family.