A New Hampshire couple has a lot to be thankful for: Their 2-year-old son miraculously survived tumbling down a two-story laundry chute and getting trapped inside the walls of their home on Thanksgiving Day.
Melissa Pendlebury and Eric Leger of Manchester, N.H., told WHDH-TV in Boston that they woke up to "a bloodcurdling scream" around 7 a.m. Thursday and heard their son, Cayden (pictured below after the incident), crying.
"My sister said, 'Oh my God, he's in the wall!'" Pendlebury recalled.
Cayden had crawled through a 10-inch-wide hatch on the second floor of their home. The hatch opened to a shaft that used to be used as a laundry chute, leading to the basement. The family now uses it for cables and Internet wires.
Cayden dropped about 20 feet, FOX 25 in Boston reported, and became tangled in the wires, dangling by his legs.
"The screams that came out of him -- I never want to hear that again," Leger told TV station WCVB. "[I wasn't] able to do anything."
But there was one thing he did to try and calm his son.
"I just punched a hole in the wall so I could get to him and at least hold his hand," Leger added in an interview with WHDH.
Firefighters rushed to the home after the family alerted them and had to cut wires and remove plaster to rescue the toddler through an opening in the basement. Cayden was taken to the hospital but released shortly thereafter with nothing more than a couple of bumps and bruises.
The family quickly nailed the hatch shut and covered it with plaster after the incident, but that didn't stop little Cayden's young curiosity. In a video on FOX 25's website, Cayden is shown still attempting to open the chute's door after it was sealed.
"Never doubt a child whatsoever 'cause they'll get into things you'd never even think about," Leger said.
Pendlebury was able to look back on the mishap with relief and a little laugh. She said that they had been planning a nontraditional Thanksgiving with movies at home and Chinese takeout.
"I guess he really did start it off nontraditional," she said of her son.
Shafts and chutes in homes and buildings aren't perilous only for curious little boys like Cayden. In August, a San Diego woman lost her balance in the shower and fell out her bathroom window and down the 15-foot light shaft of her apartment building.
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston
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