Electric shock leaves scaffolder hospitalised - whānau devastated

By Mare Haimona-Riki

A 28-year-old father of three is fighting for his life after suffering an electric shock while working as a scaffolder at an Auckland construction site.

Jahden Nelson of Ngāpuhi has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Middlemore Hospital since Tuesday last week where he's had both of his arms amputated, and is on dialysis. 

“He's been having surgery every single day,” says his mother Toni Paikea who has been by his side since he was admitted Tuesday last week.

“He was actually hit with pylon power lines. And I thought it was just one power line but it was two,” says Paikea.

Nelson’s colleague who was with him at the time of the incident but who has chosen to remain anonymous, says he knew it was bad right away.

“When I saw him he was unconscious. He was lying on his shoulder, face down…. And it just wasn't good.”

Tamariki suffering

The co-worker says Jahden is a humble, hard worker while Toni says her son's worked for 10 years as a scaffolder without any work-related injuries.

But last week's incident has devastated Jahden and his entire family, especially his three pre-school aged children.

“His tamariki will now be suffering and they are. I went to go spend some time with them yesterday and my little Makayla, she is three she's gone silent and that worries me as a grandmother.”

A Givealittle page has been created for Jahden and his family to help with the financial uncertainty the incident has caused.

"This isn't just a week stay in hospital or two weeks in hospital. It's three months in ICU and then after that the rehabilitation and the monitoring and the dialysis because his kidneys are failing right now too.”

Work Safe is carrying out an investigation into the incident.