KOTA KINABALU - The 10-year-old boy whose right cheek was pierced by a metal rod in a freak accident here told his family that God had protected him from a more serious injury.
The boy's mother said Huguan Isaac also told them that he was strong and they should not worry about him.
"He told me not to cry as he is strong and God had saved him," the mother of the Year Four pupil of SK Sacred Heart said when met yesterday at the Likas Women and Children's Hospital, where her son was warded.
The young pupil was said to be waiting for his school bus in the grounds of the nearby Sacred Heart Cathedral on Monday when he stepped on an unstable drain cover.
A loosened 1.5m-long rod attached to the drain cover then pierced Huguan's cheek in the 12.30pm incident.
Firemen rushed to the scene and brought the boy to the hospital, where he underwent an operation to remove the rod.
His mother said that he received a total of 10 stitches and was recovering well, adding that he was waiting for his friends to visit him at his ward.
Hospital director Dr Tan Bee Hwai said that while Huguan was recovering from his wound, he was not fit to be discharged.
Meanwhile, the school's senior assistant principal Jainin Ulang said they would now be stricter on the drop-off and pick-up points for parents and school buses.
"We will lock all gates and stop pupils from waiting outside the school grounds, even if parents or school bus drivers make a fuss," she said.
Meanwhile, Sacred Heart Cathedral assistant rector Father Jeffrey Gumu said the church staff would be checking on all drain covers and other possible threats around its compound.