WEST PARK -- Leaning against his green metal fence Wednesday, Dwayne Parrish watched from his yard as a crew cut down a mango tree in the empty lot next door from which young neighbor Angel Dotel fell and was impaled.
Angel, 10, of West Park, will survive his wounds from the fence's spiked edge, his surgeon said. Parrish said he didn't want to see another child harmed and took down the tree that belonged to a neighbor.
"I'm telling you, God was with that kid," Parrish said. "Imagine if it hit his throat, or if we weren't here. He could have bled to death."
About 4 p.m. Tuesday, Parrish was sitting beneath one of his palm trees when he and Prince Moore, who was washing cars, heard a scream.
The men said they found Angel on the ground.
"He was bleeding like a water faucet," Parrish said about wounds the men compressed. "When we called 911 he was crying, then he went limp and stopped talking. He was in shock."
Angel was awake and scared when he arrived at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood Tuesday, pediatric surgeon-in-chief Dr. Gary Birken said.
"He sustained penetrating chest and abdominal wall trauma and multiple lacerations to his face," Birken said Wednesday. "There was no spike inside. Probably multiple spikes did this, I would suspect."
Angel did not need surgery, Birken said.
The boy received a lot of stitches and is in serious condition in intensive care.
"He's shown marked improvement overnight, and is on the road to recovery," Birken said. "If you look at the mechanism of the injury, he's very lucky. Certainly this could have been a fatal injury."
Parrish does not own the lot at the corner of Southwest 44th Avenue and Southwest 18th Street that abuts his property and is where he hired All About Trees to remove the 60-year-old fruit tree.
"What I'm doing is rectifying a problem," Parrish said. "Mangoes attract the kids. The whole of South Florida loves mangoes. They're on spring break, what, a couple of days? And look what happened."
The lot owner could not be reached for comment.
As neighborhood youngsters filled buckets of the fruit that lured Angel to his nearly fatal fall, some of the workers and Parrish recalled how its sweet tropical treats beckoned them as children.
"I used to get mangoes from it as a kid," said All About Trees owner Pete Bendross as wood chips flew from climber Ben Roc's saw. "In 30 minutes, we're going to avert another tragedy."
Parrish praised Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue's fast response.
And he was relieved to see the tree come down.
"Mangoes make kids do things they wouldn't normally do," Parrish said.
ltrischitta@Tribune.com, 954-356-4233 or Twitter @LindaTrischitta ___