Student out of coma; mother mulls charges
A 7-year old boy remains in critical condition after falling down from the third floor of a school building last Tuesday noon.
Clifford Montana, a grade 1 student of the Lyceum de Cebu, was reportedly playing near a broken metal fence of the school’s Basic Education Department building when he fell off the railing and landed headfirst, about 20 meters, down on the cemented ground (see related story on page 2).
The accident happened at 12:45 noon. The metal fence where he played nearby had a gap wide enough for children to pass through.
Witness Anariz Cortel, a fourth year high school student, said she was at the canteen, across the building, when the incident happened.
She said she looked up and noticed Clifford trying to reach their school’s flagpole.
Cortel said Clifford was holding on to one of the railings when he accidentally swung outwards through the open space and lost his grip, causing his fall.
The rest of the students only saw Clifford already lying flat on the ground, where his head landed on an elevated concrete ground where the flagpole stood.
Clifford’s class adviser, Rachel Asignar, immediately fainted when she saw her student.
He was rushed by school personnel to the emergency room of the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital where he was declared in critical condition yesterday.
His CT scan revealed that he sustained a communited fracture of the right parital area of his head.
Montana’s 32-year-old mother Lucy Booc of Unit 3-A Villa Remegios barangay Kalunasan said she was worried when his son started vomiting and bled his mouth.
She said he dropped off Clifford at school and attended to her son Joven Booc, who was at the Capitol during an activity, when she was told about the incident.
Lucy said she warned Clifford not to play around since he might slip on wet ground.
“A mother called me and told me about my child,” a weeping Lucy said.
Her husband, Felipe Booc, a seaman stationed in Africa, had yet to be informed about the incident.
Doctors said Clifford showed signs of movement after he went into a coma following his fall.
He remains confined at the hospital’s intensive care unit where he is being monitored for his swollen brain.
Lyceum school officials said they will pay for the victim’s medical expenses.
“We will make sure the student will get the best medical treatment possible,” said Lito Astillero, Lyceum president. He said they are investigating the incident.
Astillero said their teachers always warn their students not to play around the railings at the school’s second floor.
However, some students said they still manage to play in the area.
“We usually manage to get through the railings and often hang from them,” said one grade 1 student, while pointing to the concrete below their second floor’s railings.
Despite the school’s pledge to pay for her son’s treatment, Lucy said she plans to file a complaint of negligence against the school.
Clifford’s 47-year-old aunt, Mercy Guinita, recalled that four years ago, her son Arnel Kyle Guinita, who also studied at Lyceum, fell down the school stairs and injured his head on a protruded galvanized iron sheet below.
She said the school only gave them P2,500 for his stitches while she paid for the rest of the expenses.
Mercy said she will not allow the school to cut off their financial assistance for Clifford.
Mercy said the school should do something about their facilities immediately since they are risking the safety of their students.
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