The mother of an 11-year-old girl who received an electric shock from a garden tap at her Perth home says doctors have confirmed her daughter has sustained brain damage.
Denishar Woods suffered the electric shock when she tried to turn off a garden hose on Saturday night at her Department of Housing home in Beldon, in Perth’s north.
Her mother Lacey Harrison said the extent of the brain damage was not yet known.
“The doctors gave us an update today. She’s definitely got brain damage, we just don’t know how bad it is,” Ms Harrison said.
“All I know is that on Saturday morning my little girl was happy and now she’s never going to be the same again.”
Denishar remains in a critical but stable condition at Princess Margaret Hospital where she is expected to undergo further tests on Thursday.
She had been placed on a cooling pad in hospital to try to limit the heat damage to her internal organs.
Ms Harrison was also injured in the accident as she tried to drag her daughter out of a pool of electrified water.
She had been out watering in the garden on Saturday night when the power to the house went out.
When she went to the meter box to turn the power back on, she received a small electric shock.
Ms Harrison said she contacted the Department of Housing’s emergency line to notify them of the fault, but was not given a warning not to touch anything.
Her daughter then went to turn the garden hose off and was instantly gripped by a massive electrical current.
Location of fault not yet revealed
The electric shock has been blamed on a malfunction in the electricity supply to the property known as an “open circuit neutral”.
It is estimated the shock contain between 230 and 240 volts AC, with anything above 50 volts enough to cause serious damage.
Earlier, Energy Safety director of electrical compliance Michael Bunko said the location of the fault had been established.
But he said his office was not yet confirming whether it was in infrastructure owned by Western Power or the Department of Housing, as the investigation was still active.
A Western Power spokesman confirmed electricity was reconnected to the house on Sunday to assist with the investigation.
Western Power said at that time, the WA Electrical Inspector issued a notice that additional works were required at the property, to be undertaken by a Department of Housing electrician.
Shadow Housing Minister Peter Collier said he was praying for the family.
“At the moment, our thoughts and prayers are with Denishar and her family and hope that she does make a full recovery,” he said.
“Given the tragic circumstances that occurred … it is absolutely imperative that Energy Safety do work with the Housing Authority and all concerned to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Mr Collier said he did not want to politicise the issue or make people living in public housing fearful.
“I don’t want to cause panic in the community, however there have been several incidents over the last few years which have caused concern,” he said.
“The safety of residents is paramount.”