A discarded beach barbecue left a 10-year-old schoolgirl with a horrific bloody gash from her ankle to her heel.
Emmalee McCormick, 10, (pictured top middle) from Fleetwood, Lancashire, was paddling in the sea with a friend on the town's beach at around 7pm on Thursday when she felt a scratch on her foot.
When the youngster looked down she saw blood pouring from a deep slice on her left foot and was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after an unknown couple ran to her aid.
Emmalee was left in excruciating pain as she underwent surgery to sew up her foot and was left on intravenous antibiotics for 24 hours to deal with the agony.
Horrified mum Michelle Hargreaves, 38, was among four people forced to hold down Emmalee while doctors jetwashed sand, stones and even lighter fluid that had come off the barbecue from her foot.
Doctors then used one continuous stitch to sew up the wound because the cut was so deep.
Medical staff feared that any more stitches could cause the cut to open for a second time leaving blood pouring from Emmalee again.
Almost a week later, Emmalee is still unable to attend Charles Saer Primary School in Fleetwood and has been left on crutches.
Michelle said: "There was just blood everywhere and it turned my stomach when I saw it - it was like something from Bizarre ER on the telly.
"Emmalee was absolutely screaming and it took four of us to hold her down on the hospital bed but she was so brave, I was proud of her.
"Loads of things came flooding out of her while they were washing out her foot - they came out so fast that some stones and things hit the doctor in the face.
"She could have got gangrene or something like that with all that stuff in there - you'd expect a cut like that from a glass shard or something but not from a barbecue."
Michelle, who is also mother of George, 18, Jake, 13, and Bethany, 11, with fish packer husband Christopher McCormick, told of how the colour drained from her face when she was told her daughter was in hospital.
When two women from the nearby Fleetwood YMCA rushed around to her house, Michelle had flashbacks to when son Jake nearly drowned on the beach in July 2011.
The youngster was dragged from the waters by two friends and was rushed to hospital in the terrifying incident.
The close call brought horrifying memories flooding back for full-time mum Michelle.
Michelle said: "I just heard 'beach, hospital, accident' and my head started spinning like a top - I was so terrified.
"Emmalee was due in at 7pm that night because it was a school night and I had only just missed her on the beach because I was walking the dog with my eldest.
"I had just got back into the house when I saw the two YMCA women running out the car - we had just checked the skate park to see if she was there and only just missed her.
"I want to thank the couple at the beach and the YMCA women because they really helped my daughter out while she was in agony.
"The barbecue had clearly just been left there because there was still lighter fluid all around it and the beach is cleaned all the time.
"I can't get my head around why someone would just leave it there."
A spokesman for Wyre Council, the body responsible for maintaining the beach, said: "We can all do our bit to keep beaches and bathing waters clean by putting litter in the bin.
"As sadly demonstrated in this case, food waste such as broken bottles, cans and other containers can be dangerous for children and wildlife so please take them with you off the beach and recycle them at home."
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