Grace Hyde, an 8-year-old girl from Lincolnshire, was over the moon when she won a doll at a fair in Skegness. Having been enchanted with dolls and spending a lot of time playing with them, she couldn’t wait to hold her new toy in her hands. Before reaching to Grace, the doll was placed at the tombola booth at the fair.

Once she got the doll in her hands, Grace screamed and told her sister that she pricked her finger on a filthy syringe that was hidden beneath the figurine’s layers of petticoat.

When the sister informed their mother of what had happened, the woman was left in complete shock. 41-year-old Katie feared that her daughter could have contracted a virus or another disease. The needle was placed there on purpose, but no one could have guessed who could do such a thing.

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“I am appalled that my daughter was poked by a filthy needle,” Katie said.

“A needle, which could have easily been used to inject drugs.

“I believed the needle may have been a diabetic one, but the police stated it was improbable because it had a plunger and the majority of diabetics use pens that already had the prescribed amount of insulin in them.

“As a parent, you want to keep your kids safe, so it’s horrifying to think that playing with a doll they won at a tombola may endanger their life.

“When I first saw the needle, I was astounded and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

The girl was tested for HIV and additional viruses, but they have to wait three months for the results. She was immediately immunized against hepatitis B and tetanus. Katie, however, explained that before they receive the all-clear, they would need to wait around a year, which is a huge amount of time spent in uncertainty.

When Katie returned to the fair and told the organizers about the horrific incident, they were puzzled. The person in charge of the lottery said that he purchased the dolls at a car boot sale.

“I believe that these vendors really need to exercise caution in what they sell. If they purchase items from car boot sales, anything could be inside,” the worried mother said.

“I shudder to consider what might have transpired between the injury and Grace’s telling me.

“There’s no doubt that it changed us all. Now that I’m much more aware of these things, I check all the kids’ toys before they play with them.”

Now, Grace doesn’t like dolls like she used to. In fact, she’s scared to play with them any longer.

Kris Bell, the event’s co-organizer and head of the Skegness Carnival Committee said: “It was horrible.

“It must have been a terrible moment; I can’t even begin to picture the suffering the family must be going through.

“Even though we are merely volunteers, we take what we do extremely seriously, and this is not the time for impulsive decisions.

“From a personal standpoint, I’d advise any organizations dealing with used items to start being more careful with how they treat the goods.”

We hope Grace would be just fine and the needle was just a prank and won’t infect her with anything.

Katie is sharing this story in order to raise awareness and remind parents to be extra cautious in order to avoid incidents like this one.

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Love and Peace

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