Boy cracks skull in slide fall

A popular slide at a Perth water park has been closed after a five-year-old boy suffered serious head injuries when he came off it.

Outback Splash said yesterday that its blue slide would be closed until after an "operational review".

Mason McDonald, who landed on concrete, was treated by patrons at the Bullsbrook water park before an ambulance took him to Joondalup hospital on Sunday. He has been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital, where he was stable last night.

Mason's mother Hayley posted on Facebook last night that her son had fractures to his skull.

"Our son Mason is slowly improving and has been to hell and back as have we, his family," she wrote. "He is alive only as a result of the multiple medical trauma teams who treated him at two major hospitals in Perth. He has fractures to his skull and other injuries as a result of his fall from height on to concrete.

"We are unsure of how his memory, speech, seizures etc etc will develop over the next few months. We have many specialist medical depts working with him.

"He is unable to return to school for the foreseeable future.

"Thank you for everyone's ongoing support. It means a lot to Mason and our whole family."

Former nurse Marian McCrory was at Outback Splash with her children for a St John Ambulance cadets end-of-year party when she saw the boy flung from the slide "like a little ragdoll through the air".

"It was a good height where he came off, about the height of my shoulders," Mrs McCrory said.

"He came off at one of the bends, probably the last bend."

It is understood Mason's father was riding with him.

Mrs McCrory and two other St John officers tended to the boy.

"His eyes were glazed over," she said. "It was about 15 seconds before we had a response. I believe he was unconscious."

Outback Splash owner Paul Woodcock said last night he was gutted for Mason's family.

Mr Woodcock said the blue slide would be closed until the cause of the accident was identified and rectified.

"I'm horrified it happened," he said. "I have kids myself and if the cause is not rectifiable, we will permanently pull the slide."

Mrs McCrory said her eight-year-old son complained before the incident that the slide was not working properly.

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