Dapto three-year-old Leo Diener has quite the show-and-tell item after emergency services were called to free his fingers from the bathtub plughole recently.
It took two paramedics, three police officers and three police rescue officers almost an hour to free his three middle digits, after they swelled up and became stuck fast.
Police rescue officers were forced to manoeuvre the plug out and then used a handheld power tool to cut some slots in the metal, bend it out of the way and remove Leo’s fingers.
Paramedic Kahlie McLennan was one of the team by his side on the night just over a week ago, and returned to see him on Monday morning.
‘’He was so brave,’’ Ms McLennan said. ‘’Paramedics and other emergency services do get these kinds of calls occasionally – kids will be kids – and while there’s no doubt we will free them, we try to do everything we can to ensure they stay calm and don’t get too upset.’’
Leo’s mum Corinne praised the efforts of paramedics and police, saying their swift response had stopped her from panicking.
‘’It’s one of those things that you hear about but never think will happen to you,’’ Mrs Diener said.
‘’My husband was out and I’d put my seven-month-old son to bed and was giving Leo a bath before bed when I left the room for a minute once he’d pulled the plug out.
‘’Then I heard him yell ‘I’m stuck’ and when I went back in, his three fingers were jammed in the plughole.
‘’He’d been playing with bath slime and I think he’d been trying to push it down the plughole with his fingers.’’
After unsuccessful attempts to free him with more slime and baby oil, Mrs Diener called Triple 0. Within six minutes, paramedics were on scene and police arrived soon after.
‘’I’ve never called Triple 0 before, and I couldn’t believe how many people turned up to help,’’ she said.
‘’They’re all just such amazing people, and do such amazing work, and I really want to help highlight that.’’
Aside from a few grazes, Mrs Diener said Leo was unhurt, and quickly set about making thank you cards for those who’d helped him.
And a gift of ‘Leo the lion’ from Ms McLennan on Monday certainly made Leo the toddler’s day.
‘’It’s also great for us to catch up with patients, as we rarely get the opportunity to do that,’’ Ms McLennan said. ‘’To see him running around with a smile on his face, makes it all worthwhile.’’
Meantime Mrs Diener will be careful when choosing a new drain, though she doubts Leo will make the same mistake twice.
‘’He’s a bit of a risk-taker – he likes to climb and jump,’’ she said.
‘’But I think he knows not to stick his fingers down the plughole again.’’