Three-year-old pricks self with needle found in Duncan park

Duncan_A three-year-old playing in a Duncan Park on Wednesday found some hypodermic needles, and it was not a surprise when he wound up poking himself.  Little Wylie Hambrick's parents now are concerned that the needles were contaminated.

Wylie was playing with his older brother Daniel in Olen Sledge Park when he poked himself with the discarded needle.  As soon as Wylie's mother realized what had happened, she took the needles from him and immediately dialed 911.  She then took Wylie to the emergency room at Duncan Regional Hospital

Wylie's grandmother returned to the park a few hours later and found even more needles.  Wylie's mother Dawn says she is uneasy, and that frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how she feels.  "I'm disgusted," she said.  "I'm disgusted, and I'm disappointed that people would do that where kids play."

Wylie found the needles only feet away from where Dawn had parked her car.  She says it took him only two minutes to find the needles and accidentally prick himself.  Wylie's grandmother also is upset.  She says she was concerned for others safety, and that's why she returned to the park.  "I was a concerned citizen didn't want somebody else to go through this."  Dawn says her main concern is finding out what was in the needles.  "Hepatitis ruins your liver - it'll kill you," she said.  "AIDS will kill you.  We shouldn't have to worry about that."

Duncan police were somewhat reassuring.  They say that AIDS or HIV would not live very long in a dry environment, but that the Hambricks should be concerned about hepatitis.  Police also say that even the nicest of parks sometimes have unsavory character.  "A park is a public place," said Lieutenant Jimmy Williams.  "People from all walks of life go to public parks."

Dawn says she'll continue to let her boys play in the park, but will scope out the area before allowing her kids out of the car.  She says she feels sorry for whoever left the needles in the park.  "I feel sorry for you to have to be that way," she said.  "It saddens me that now we have to worry about my son's health for a long time."

The Hambricks have filed a police report, and the police now are investigating to see if there are any more needles at the park.  Dawn says she doesn't have the results of the hospital tests yet, but the hospital told her that Wylie now will have to have his blood tested every three months for nine years to ensure he has not contracted any disease.