TROPHY CLUB -- "I would have never thought it could happen, never," said mom Charyl Szydloski, still in shock months after the freak incident inside their home.
The family had hardwood floors installed in July. Two days after the installation, 10-year-old Braden Szydloski was running through the living room. The family says he fell and slid on his backside. A piece of one plank came loose and impaled him.
"I didn't know how big it was," Braden said.
The strip was long -- 13 inches lodged under his skin, entering the very bottom of the left side of his rear end, and reaching his waistband. His family rushed him to one hospital, which sent him to another for emergency surgery.
"He had every emergency room worker in there coming to take a look at his injury," Charyl said. "He was very brave, very brave."
The wood stayed mostly right under the skin, said Charyl. It damaged no muscles or nerves.
The Szydloskis still have the piece of wood. And they still have pieces of the plank that had to be repaired. They contacted the flooring company, hoping to get help with the $5,000 insurance deductible.
"We weren't looking for anything beyond that," Charyl said. "In my opinion, I felt the flooring was a defect."
Regal Hardwoods offered the family $500. But Charyl turned it down.
"I thought the responsibility was larger than that," she said.
When we contacted Regal Hardwoods, a company spokesperson provided us with this statement:
"We feel terrible about what happened to this family. As long as the wood floor is used in the manner it was intended, a similar injury could never be experienced by another family. In this instance, the parents chose a wood floor that is hand-scraped to give it a distressed texture. It is designed to be rustic looking and was never meant for running and sliding. Although we cannot control what people do at home, running inside the home is never a good idea. Possible injuries can arise even from tile and carpet, such as slipping on tile and getting carpet burns from carpet. Moreover, the description of the boy running, falling, and sliding, sounds very much like he was play-sliding on the floor. As stated earlier, normal use of the floor would not produce such an injury if someone simply "fell" on the floor.
If anything is to be learned from this terrible incident, supervise your children at all times, even when at home. Flooring, whether tile, carpet or wood is not a playground. This injury could have been prevented."
Charyl and her husband were both in the room when Braden was injured.
"This could happen to any child, in any home, anywhere," she said. "As a matter of fact, the surgeon that did the surgery had had another case."
Braden has no lasting injuries. But to see the wood "still kinda creeps me out," he admitted. "Whenever I see that stick, I'm scared to hold it."