BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - A child ended up in the emergency room after allegedly being left behind on a hot playground at summer camp. His mother is now warning other parents about what happened and accusing camp counselors of negligence.
Amica Collins and her son Carter were at the right place at the right time Wednesday. They were in the pool at G.T. Bray Park when thunder and lightning started. They were forced out of the pool and went to the playground area at the park instead.
"When we got to this playground area, we sat our stuff down and got drinks and everything and as he climbed up on the playground, he said, 'look that kid's sleeping,'" Collins said.
Collins realized the child whose name is also Carter, was alone and woke him up.
"He got up, and he was really disoriented," Collins described.
Collins asked the boy for his mother's number, which he luckily knew by heart.
"I work right down the road," Kelly Fraser, Carter's mother, said. "I literally went 100 miles an hour on 59th Street to get here."
Fraser demanded an explanation from those who run the camp.
"I asked him why this happened, and he said the summer is almost over and my counselors are getting lazy," Fraser said Friday.
When Fraser got Carter home he started throwing up, so she took him to Blake Medical Center. Doctors there said he was severely dehydrated and said he suffered heat exhaustion.
"To see him like that... it crushed me," Fraser recalled.
But one good thing came of that day... a forever friendship.
"I don't think it was a coincidence that we were supposed to be swimming and laughing and playing, but thunder and lightning literally shook us over to the playground instead," Collins said.
Fraser calls Collins her son's guardian angel.
"Without her, he might not be here today," Fraser said.
The camp is run by Manatee County. The program's director, Marcus Francis admitted to his staff's faults Friday. However, he declined to speak to ABC7. The county spokesman spoke on his behalf.
"It was a very rare and isolated incident that I believe they've taken the corrective actions to make sure it won't happen again," spokesman Nick Azzara said Friday.
Azzara cites that one of the teenage members of the staff miscounted the children before they went inside from the playground.
"Moving forward they're going to do a roll call when they leave the playground or go back inside to make sure each child is accounted for," Azzarra said.
He wouldn't speak to whether or not there will be disciplinary action
Carter is out of the hospital, and 48 hours later he is starting to feel better. He will not be returning to summer camp.