In the quiet neighborhood of Clifton, Salford, a devastating accident unfolded in April, leaving a mother shattered and her daughter, 8-year-old Bella, severely injured. The incident occurred in an alleyway behind their home on Kestrel Avenue, where Bella’s childhood innocence turned into a nightmare.
According to Bella’s mother, Kerry Ratcliffe, the incident took place while Bella was engrossed in building a den in the alleyway. Unbeknownst to her, a discarded garden table had been callously dumped in the area. Tragedy struck when Bella accidentally stepped on the table, causing it to wobble. Instinctively, she reached out to steady herself, gripping onto a nearby fence, but in an instant, her tiny fingers were tragically severed. The echoes of Bella’s screams filled the air, prompting a concerned neighbor to rush to their aid.
In an emotional interview with the Manchester Evening News, Kerry recounted the harrowing details of that fateful day. The shock and devastation overwhelmed her as she learned the extent of her daughter’s injuries. Bella was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital, where she underwent a grueling 12-hour surgery in a desperate attempt to reattach her severed fingers. Despite the medical team’s best efforts, the procedure did not yield the desired outcome.
Bella’s resilience and determination have been awe-inspiring. The brave 9-year-old has returned to school, marking a significant milestone in her recovery. However, Kerry remains haunted by the incident, seeking answers and justice for her daughter.
In response to the incident, Kerry made the difficult decision to relocate her family to Winton in Salford, in close proximity to their relatives. She emphasizes the urgent need for action, urging the authorities to secure the alleyway, which residents claim has become a notorious hot spot for fly-tipping. Kerry points out the presence of private iron gates that were intended to secure the area but were carelessly left open, granting unrestricted access.
The Salford council confirmed that the land in question belongs to ForHousing, a prominent housing association. Nigel Sedman, the executive director of homes at ForHousing, expressed deep remorse upon learning about Bella’s tragic accident. He revealed that the security fence had been installed years ago in response to concerns raised by residents regarding anti-social behavior and fly-tipping. Following the incident, ForHousing promptly dispatched a team to the site to address the issue and ensure its safety. The organization remains committed to supporting the local community and actively working towards a resolution.
While Bella’s indomitable spirit will eventually lead her to receive a prosthetic hand, her mother fervently hopes that this unfortunate incident serves as a wake-up call for the authorities. Kerry’s heartfelt plea for a secure and safe environment resonates as a poignant reminder of the pressing need to address fly-tipping and other hazards that threaten the well-being of residents, particularly children, in their cherished neighborhoods.
As investigators delve into the circumstances surrounding this tragic accident, the focus remains on preventing similar incidents in the future. The pursuit of justice for Bella and the pursuit of a safer community go hand in hand, serving as a testament to the importance of collective action and vigilance.