A mum had her wedding day ‘ruined’ when her three-year-old son fell from a balcony at Lewes Town Hall as the ceremony was due to start.
Gemma Coulton, from Horsham, was getting married at the venue on August 20 when her little boy fell through a gap in the balcony, falling approximately 10ft.
Fortunately, he suffered no serious injuries but Gemma is now speaking out in the hope her story will prevent any other families going through the same “nightmare”.
She said: “My three-year-old son fell through a gap in the balcony at Lewes Town Hall. This happened just before my ceremony took place - he fell around 10ft and had to spend the afternoon of what should have been our wedding reception in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Brighton.
“Luckily, my son sustained no serious injuries and was just badly winded, but if he had landed on any other part of his body, it would have been a lot more serious and possibly even fatal.
“We want to make people aware because we don’t ever want any parent to have to go through the nightmare of their child having such a horrific accident and possibly the outcome being worse, especially on what should be the happiest day of our lives.
“We can’t even think of our special day without having flashbacks and feeling sick, and that’s just the traumatic, emotional stress of seeing your child fall and thinking he was dead, let alone the financial stress of spending £7,000 on a wedding which will remind us of that nightmare forever. The day was ruined as we didn’t even attend our wedding breakfast and were late for the evening - we were in such shock, we don’t even remember saying our vows. The main point is my son was okay but another child might not be so lucky, so people need to be aware of the risk.”
While Lewes Town Hall is maintained by Lewes Town Council, the responsibility for health and safety lies with the authority hiring out the hall for an occasion. In the instance of a wedding, the authority in question would be East Sussex County Council.
A spokesperson from East Sussex County Council said: “We’re very pleased that the child involved was not seriously injured. We have been in correspondence with the family and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
The Town Hall has several rooms available to hire for a range of functions. It is licensed for weddings, and can accommodate larger parties.
For enquiries, call 01273 471469 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Lewes Town Hall, visit www.lewes-tc.gov.uk.
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