A mother feared her son’s foot would be amputated after a vape pen was impaled in it.
Harley Bennett, 13, was out with friends in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, when he found the used Elfbar pen on the floor of a tube in October.
He set the four-inch vape vertically, thinking he could crush it by stomping on it — but instead it penetrated his sneaker, sock and went straight into his foot.
Harley said, “I wasn’t thinking, I don’t know how to explain it. I just stomped on it and it just went right into my foot. It was very painful.
“The recovery process was very stressful. The moment the doctor told me I could lose my foot was very, very stressful.
“The pain is much better now.”
He was left in agony and a friend named Harley’s mother, Samantha Robinson, who rushed to find her son and take him to the hospital.
Harley underwent a two-hour surgery and a skin graft the next morning, which sadly failed.
Mum of four Samantha, 34, said: ‘It was really shocking. I felt sick, scared, I didn’t know what was going on.
“The hospital had never encountered anything like this before. It was the first they saw of it.
It must have been very shocking for them too. I had all the nurses asking to look at the pictures I had because they were so stunned.
“The size and width of the puff bar went in most of the way and wedged into the top of the heel bone, causing it to crack. It was a clean piece of meat that was gone.
“Harley was actually pretty calm, probably because the adrenaline was pumping and he wasn’t feeling anything.”
Doctors later warned that there was a risk that Harley would have to have his foot amputated because of an infection in his cracked heel bone.
Samantha, a cleaner, added: ‘Two weeks after it happened, the surgeon said there is a high chance of infection and a high chance of losing your foot. That was what scared me the most.
“I felt terrified and sick. I was more afraid of Harley and his reaction and what he was like than mine.
Seeing how scared he was – and he wasn’t sleeping – [meant that] it was more about trying to focus on how he was feeling.”
Fortunately, Harley is now well on the road to recovery, after mother Samantha spent nine weeks diligently changing his bandages and getting regular checkups.
His family is now trying to raise awareness of the importance of properly disposing of vape pens.
His grandmother Andrea Keen, 56, wrote on Facebook: ‘Him [Harley] wore £200 shoes with a very thick sole. It went right through that, right through a sock, right through his flesh, to the bone. That’s pretty shocking.
‘If someone was walking around barefoot, it could continue [the foot]. People need to learn how to properly dispose of vapes.
“It’s been nine weeks and you can imagine after being told he could lose his foot it was horrible. He’s only 13.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted Elfbar for comment.
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