Edmonton

Woman's finger amputated after injury at West Edmonton Mall water park

A Saskatoon woman had to have her finger amputated after she was injured at the West Edmonton Mall water park during the August long weekend.

Claire Clark says water park staff should better enforce rules against wearing jewelry on waterslides

Claire Clark was at West Edmonton Mall's World Waterpark for her grandaughter's birthday on Aug. 5 when she injured her finger on a waterslide. (Facebook/West Edmonton Mall)

A Saskatoon woman had to have her finger amputated after she was injured at the West Edmonton Mall water park during the August long weekend.

Claire Clark, 59, was at the water park for her granddaughter's birthday on Aug. 5 when she decided to go down the Corkscrew — two enclosed slides that twist and turn before dropping into a splash pool.
Clark suffered a degloving injury, in which the skin is completely torn off of the underlying muscle, connective tissue and bone. (Claire Clark)
 

When she grabbed the top of the slide to push herself in, her ring caught on what she thinks was a piece of thin foam. She immediately knew she was injured and tried to hold her hand to keep it out of the water as she slid down the slide.

She realized the extent of the damage when she came out the other end. 

"The first joint by the nail, that was kind of ripped off and then there was bone for the rest of it. You could tell where the ring had caught," she said.

Lifeguards shut down the slide immediately, she said, and one lifeguard had to go back into the pool to retrieve the missing piece of her finger and her ring.

Mall is investigating

She went to the hospital and a doctor told her the ring finger on her right hand had been degloved, a type of injury in which the skin is completely torn off of the underlying muscle, connective tissue and bone. Clark's injury was serious enough that she had to have her finger amputated.

"I saw a plastic surgeon and he had to cut the bone off. So I've got maybe a quarter-inch left of my finger," she said.

Clark has been taking antibiotics and painkillers and expects to get the stitches removed next week.

Clark and her husband, Dave, emailed West Edmonton Mall about the incident. They said they received a phone call from someone at the mall on Monday apologizing and asking how Clark is doing.

I would just like West Edmonton Mall to just make sure people don't wear  jewelry.- Claire Clark

A mall spokesperson told CBC News they could not comment as the incident is under investigation.

There were signs around the water park saying jewelry should not be worn, Clark said, but she wasn't wearing her glasses so she couldn't read them.
Clark has been taking antibiotics and painkillers and expects to get the stitches removed next week. (Claire Clark)

She said she saw other people at the water park that day wearing jewelry.

"I would just like West Edmonton Mall to just make sure people don't wear jewelry," Clark said.

"And I think the kids at the top of the slide, the people who watch people going down, I think they should tell people. My ring was a good-sized ring and they could easily see it."

She said she believes water parks are safe, for the most part. But she never thought wearing jewelry at a water park could lead to such a serious injury.

"I'll never go again," she said.

"I'm a bit too scared now."