A nine-year-old girl with cerebral palsy was rushed to a London hospital with serious burns after being scalded with hot tea at Buckingham Palace.
Georgie Gibbs and her family had toured the staterooms and met the Queen’s horses when they stopped for a snack in the royal garden café on the afternoon of Saturday, July 23.
Moments after sitting down at a table in the packed café, a full cup of scalding hot tea tipped over Gibbs.
Gibbs’mom Clare, 48, said: “We sat down with our collection of cakes and drinks, suddenly Georgie started to scream and scream.
“It all happened so quickly and somehow the scalding hot tea had spilled onto her leg and was running down into the splint that she wears.
“The café was packed and we were at a small circular table at the front near where everyone was ordering.
“I can only assume that somehow Georgie’s wheelchair got budged and it knocked the table and caused the cup of tea to fall on her.
“The screams were horrific to hear and the whole café of tourists stopped in silence.
“We took the splints off as quickly as possible and I called immediately for iced water to put over her legs, suddenly all the customers started pouring their cold drinks onto her legs to cool the burns while waiting for more cold water.”
Managers of the royal café called for an ambulance and Gibbs was rushed on blue lights to St. Thomas’ Hospital where she was given morphine to ease the pain.
Gibbs is currently on the waiting list to undergo surgery to have her hip sockets straightened to help her walk and had always wanted to visit Buckingham Palace.
Her mom paid 142 British pounds ($170) to take history-loving Georgie for a tour of the palace and gardens along with her daughter Ella, 11, and partner Bruce Martin, 54.
Clare, from Worcester, in England’s west, in the United Kingdom, said: “Georgie is a Royal fanatic and loves the Queen so we took her to Buckingham Palace as a treat.
“She is having more surgery soon so we wanted to do something fun before the hard work begins because her rehabilitation is going to take some time.”
Gibbs’ mom is now warning parents of the dangers of having hot drinks around children and the importance of acting quickly in the event of an accident.
She added: “We were all in shock and had no time to think about what was actually happening.
“The staff of the café came quickly with crate after crate of canned iced cold water which is vital when there is a burn.
“Management arrived quickly and efficiently and called the ambulance as Georgie was in pain and shock, we could see the legs were starting to blister.
“The management were amazing, keeping me informed of all their actions and reassuring me that help was on its way.
“The ambulance crew immediately gave Georgie some morphine and administered a special burns dressing to her legs.
“They advised they needed to get her to the hospital quickly so we would be leaving from the back gardens of the palace, round the side and out through the front gates and would be escorted by palace officials.
“We left very hurried all four of us into the ambulance and onto St Thomas hospital.”
Gibbs suffered second-degree burns to her legs but the next day she and her family were invited back to the palace where they were “treated like royalty.”
Clare, a former HR manager, said: “We had to be at the palace gates for 1:30 p.m. and we were told to drive into the front of the palace.
“We were all very excited about this as it felt really special and something good that came out of a bad experience.
“We were escorted by palace management back to the garden café where we had afternoon tea but with cold drinks this time.
“The staff gave Georgie and Ella a Jubilee teddy bear and a corgi dog cuddly toy. We were all treated like royalty.”
A Royal Collection Trust spokesperson said: “The safety of our visitors is a top priority and we aim to train our staff to react quickly when first aid incidents occur.
“We are pleased that Georgie is doing well and wish her a full and speedy recovery.”
Produced in association with SWNS.
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