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Rush-hour commuters have been condemned for "lacking basic humanity" after hundreds ignored Oliver Tiplady, a boy in school uniform who collapsed and hit his head on a platform. |
Oliver was on his way to school when he fainted and fell to the floor banging his head as he arrived to meet three classmates off a tram.
But despite being dressed in his school uniform and holding his satchell, hundreds of commuters waiting to board a 8.15am tram at Altrincham bus and tram Interchange in Greater Manchester refused to help the teenager.
Instead they walked past and even stepped over the unconscious Oliver as if he wasn't there.
The Metrolink station had a panic button that can be used in an emergency - but no one thought to use it, and eventually Oliver picked himself up off the floor when he came round ten minutes later.
Oliver who attends Blessed Thomas Holford Roman Catholic School in Altrincham was too upset to tell friends who arrived to meet him just moments later and waited until he was at school before informing a teacher, who contacted his mum Susan Tiplady.
Mrs Tiplady, 53, a retired teacher said: "This walk on by society has got to stop and think for once in their lives. How can people justify leaving a child, or anybody for that matter, on the floor like that?
"There would have been so many people that walked past him at 8:15am. How could they all have ignored him? They must have lacked any basic humanity and obviously had no compassion whatsover towards a child.
"These days people are too insular and only care about their own business. I can possibly even understand if it was a drunk hoody in a gang - but he's a 14 year old boy in his school uniform.
"Oliver has been left devastated by it."
Oliver gets a bus to the Metrolink station and meets three friends before walking to school. Susan said: "He got the bus as normal and went to the station to meet his friends.
"Oliver told me that he felt dizzy whilst he was waiting for them and the next thing he fell on the floor and banged his head on the concrete - but they all just walked past him as if nothing had happened.
"He managed to get up and sit down before his hriends turned up but by then he was too embarassed to tell them what had happened.
"It wasn't until he got to school that he told a teacher. I was at the doctors in the morning so the first I knew about it was when the school contacted me."
Susan, who lives with husband Gary, 48, a manager at Manchester Airport, says that Oliver has suffered from unexplained seizures in the past.
She said: "He showed no warning signs running up to when he collapsed so I think he must have fainted - but if he'd had a seizure he could have died."
The Metrolink, a major transport network for Greather Manchester h as a panic button for people to press in the event of emergency.
But Mrs Tiplady, a mother of three said: "No one even thought to use that. I imagine a lot of the people who walked past would have been mothers or fathers - how would they feel if it was their child left like that?
"People are going to have to start looking closer at themselves and show more compassion to other people.
"I stopped to help an old man last year who I initially thought was drunk, but on second glance I realise he was in tears and really poorly, so I took him home.
"I can't believe not one person even stopped to see if he was ok."
Since it happened Susan said that Oliver has been quiet and subdued.
Susan said: "He's a really sensitive child as it is but when I picked him up from school he was really upset knowing that all those people just walked past him and didn't try and help him.
"I've caught him thinking about it and worrying to himself a few times but I just hope it has no long term effects.
"He's been so subdued since it happened so I'm going to keep a close eye on him for a bit. My husband Gary is also shocked and annoyed. We can't put into words how we feel.
"I just don't understand how people can forgive themselves."
A spokesman for the Metrolink tram system said: "There are emergency help points on all of our stops where passengers can contact the control room for assistance.
''So if there is any emergency at any point on one of our stops there is a phone point there where passengers can contact the control room to get help at any time and that's what we would expect passengers to do. If there are staff on hand then they will always be there to help."