PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 2-year-old girl was stuck by a hypodermic needle on the MAX, her dad told KOIN 6 News.
Brian Higby, his wife and their little girl were on the green line MAX on Tuesday, Jan. 9 when the unthinkable happened. The girl was looking out the window from her mother’s arms when she said “owie.”
“[She] turns around and she’s got a syringe in her hand with the needle sticking out of her finger,” Higby said. “What just happened? It’s so alarming you don’t even know what to think.”
With the immediate fears of drugs and disease, the family went to urgent care, where they were told the girl needed to go to Randall Children’s Hospital.
“I’m thinking AIDS right off the bat, and then Hepatitis and it’s almost like getting shot or something,” he said. “It’s horrible.”
Thankfully doctors said her risk of transmission is low, but it will be months before they know for sure if she got anything from that needle.
TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt called this a “frightening experience” and hopes the girl will be OK, but said it is not unheard of to find needles on TriMet vehicles.
“Anyone may leave an item behind at any time so we encourage all riders to check an area before they or their family members sit down. This is also a good practice anywhere, whether on transit, in a park or any public place,” Altstadt said.
Higby encouraged his fellow parents and everyone to know what to do if they find a needle.
“Be alert, don’t overlook it,” Higby said. “If you see it, let someone know. Don’t pick it up. Get the authorities there.”
He also urged drug users to clean up after themselves.
“If you’re that miserable and you have to use, think of others,” Higby said. “Because my daughter — now her life could be changed.”