Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
Dear Family and Friends:
I do not like sending such a sad e-mail but I have been asked to help spread this news by a member of Bryan's family. A relative recently had a horrendous tragedy occur in her family. A little five year old girl was running around her house when she stumbled into an open dishwasher. There was a knife in the basket of the washer with its blade pointed up. When she fell into the washer, the knife pierced her heart and lung. She died almost immediately, with her family helpless to save her precious life. Her mother wants to give others the chance to be safer than they were, and avoid this ever happening again. If possible, please help spread this warning to others.
Origins: Though we've no clear notion who "Mary Leigh" or "Bryan's family" are or what their involvement was with this story, the gist of the message is factual: On
This tragedy serves as a sad reminder for the need to always load utensils into the dishwasher with their sharp ends pointing down. Forks, knives, scissors — all should be placed in the cutlery basket with their blades or tines down.
Although deaths in this manner are rare, there have been others. In 2001 a Vancouver man who collapsed from an undisclosed illness fell on sharp objects housed in an open dishwasher at his mother's home and expired of his wounds. In 1997, Mark Rockingham, a twelve-year-old British boy, died the same way Payton McElroy had — a play session ended with him falling onto a sharp knife in an open dishwasher, severing major arteries in his chest and puncturing one of his lungs.
One of our readers told us about his experience, which was quite similar to those described above, though he was fortunate enough to live through it:
When I was 6 years old (now 23) my cousin had some of my toys and wouldn't give them to me. I ran into the kitchen and hit a wet spot and slipped and fell into the dishwasher my mother was unloading. When I came up there was a knife with a blade about 7 or
Barbara "mother load" Mikkelson
Last updated: 30 September 2006
Weaver, Maurice. "Boy's Death Brings Call to Redesign Dishwashers." Daily Telegraph. 4 July 1997. The Associated Press. "Child Dies After Falling Into Dishwasher Door." 24 January 2003. Union County Advocate. "Obituary: Payton Michael McElroy." 29 January 2003. The Vancouver Sun. "Man Dies in Dishwasher Accident." 28 April 2001.