Four-year-old girl hurt in Dubai gym accident expected to make full recovery

Father thanks public for prayers and wishes as Naraya revived from intensive care sedation

A four-year-old girl who was seriously injured when she was sucked into a gym treadmill is expected to make a full recovery.

Alex Broun feared his daughter Naraya would be left brain damaged after she was pulled into the treadmill's belt mechanism when she tried to retrieve a gym ball a week ago.

He and a neighbour may have saved her when he performed CPR and pulled her from the device. Her hands were pulled into the older-style treadmill up to the point where her neck was pressed hard against the belt roller.

Naraya was released from Rashid Hospital's intensive care on Wednesday after being sedated for several anxious days, during which doctors feared her brain may have been starved of oxygen.

Alex Broum and daughter, Naraya, are looking forward to a happy Christmas together after their ordeal. Ruel Pableo for The National
It was such a traumatic experience for her and I honestly believed she was going to die
Alex Broun, father

“She’s doing much better and she has made a good recovery,” Mr Broun, a well-known Australian playwright, told The National.

“She’s full of life again and has lots of energy, she’s moving around just fine."

Naraya will undergo brain scans when she returns to hospital to remove the collar but Mr Broun said he had feared much worse.

“It was such a traumatic experience for her and I honestly believed she was going to die,” he said.

“Her lips turned blue and she lost all colour in her face, she turned pure white.

“It was just unbearable for all of us.”

He said the week since the accident, at the family’s residential building in Al Bada'a, near Jumeirah, was one of the longest of his life.

“The first three or four hours was really hard," he said.

“She’s a very energetic four-and-a-half-year-old and it was difficult to see her with all those tubes hanging out of her.”

He said another concern was the amount of wriggling she was doing in the hospital bed as she tried to pull the tubes out of her, which led to even greater anxiety for the family.

“Thankfully she calmed down the next day and then on Tuesday her friends came to visit her and played games with her,” he said.

“That really helped to improve her mood and she started to come back to life.”

Mr Broun said he was touched by the support his family had received since the accident.

“I’ve received hundreds of calls from people all over the world, for which we are tremendously grateful,” he said.

“It made a massive difference to know people cared so much and were thinking of her in their prayers.”

Updated: December 17th 2021, 11:56 AM