Calla Oxley and her son Wade stand on their neighbours property, which backs on to Bayview Woods Park. Oxley says her son sustained an allergic reaction after playing in the tall grass. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Calla Oxley and her son Wade stand on their neighbours property, which backs on to Bayview Woods Park. Oxley says her son sustained an allergic reaction after playing in the tall grass. (Aaron Hinks photo)

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

A Peninsula mother says the type of grass in a public park that backs onto her South Surrey property caused her son to go into anaphylactic shock, and the city is doing little about it.

However, city officials say staff are aware of the concern and staff are reviewing next steps.

Calla Oxley said that her son Wade was playing in Bayview Woods Park on June 28. The park is described by the city as beautiful but hidden, and is accessible from between the hedges of 13815 and 13829 33 Ave.

After approximately 15 minutes of play in the knee-high grass with his brother, Wade returned home and was showing signs of a reaction, Oxley said.

The 10-year-old told Peace Arch News Tuesday (July 14) that he had difficulty swallowing and had broken out in hives on his legs and neck.

Oxley gave her son Benadryl and rushed him to the hospital. Doctors gave Wade adrenaline and steroids.

“We were told to watch him closely for three days because there’s a phenomenon with anaphylaxis where you can relapse within two or three days,” she said.

Oxley said the doctors told her it was the tall, brown grass that caused the reaction. After her son was in a more stable condition, she called the City of Surrey to ask if someone could meet with her to discuss what could be done.

“We obviously won’t allow him to play in the park. But if it’s the tall grass and it’s mowed and not captured when it’s mowed, it’s just blowing in the wind…. we’re worried about him even being in his bedroom at night and becoming anaphylactic, because it was a severe reaction.”

Oxley said the City of Surrey sent an employee to the park the day she called. However, the woman who showed up reportedly said she was the “green grass person” and that a “brown grass person” was required.

“She said the brown grass person was on holidays,” Oxley noted.

After getting an all-clear from a doctor, the Oxleys went on a 10-day trip and returned home July 13. She said that time while they were away from the property would have been an opportunity for the city to cut and capture the grass.

“We’ve lived here for 10 years and on many occasions they’ve cut that entire park,” she said.

Tuesday, a section of the short, green grass appeared to have been cut within the last two weeks. The taller, brown grass was left untouched.

“We were told by the city that it was too expensive to cut the grass. We offered to pay for the mowing of the grass and they haven’t responded to that at all. As far as taking it out, they said it would be a long process, with community involvement, and take months and months,” Oxley said.

Oxley said the line of communication with the city has ended, and that “at this point we’re just happy to get a phone call from them.”

Monday, PAN asked to speak to somebody from the city about the family’s concern.

City manager of parks Neal Aven emailed PAN a statement on Tuesday (July 14), through the communications manager, saying that the city is taking the concern seriously and staff have spoken directly with the Oxley family.

The statement says city staff are aware the grass is the cause of the allergic reaction and that they understand that the Oxleys have taken steps to ensure their son does not come into direct contact with the grass.

“Parks staff are continuing to review potential steps, which may include more frequent moving, and will be in touch with the family this week.”

Tuesday afternoon, Oxley said she has yet to hear from the city.

City of Surreyparks

Just Posted

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

White Rock artist Rod Kerr’s charmingly simplified graphic style and bold colours will be showcased at The Gallery Central Plaza through July. (Contributed photo)
White Rock artist offers bold originals and ‘Fabulous Fakes’

Rod Kerr’s work showcased at The Gallery, Central Plaza during July

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read