Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021

Boy, 12, died from eating Christmas dinner after grandfather forgot about his nut allergy

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The boy, 12, was playing with his friends at Wharton Recreation Park in Winsford on Christmas Day when he began to have trouble breathing. He had only just eaten dinner at his grandparents’ house with mother Lousie and brothers Cowen, Corley and Caiden.

An inquest into Cason’s death heard the boy’s grandfather Albert, having “completely forgotten” about his grandson’s allergy, used a glaze that contained nuts for the meal’s gammon.

Louise rushed to the park to administer an EpiPen. Paramedics and doctors put all their efforts into saving him. Still, the youngster, who also suffered from asthma, went into respiratory and cardiac arrest and died after being taken to Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Warrington Coroner’s Court at Parr Hall on Monday heard Cason had “licked his plate clean”.

Giving evidence at the inquest to a senior coroner for Cheshire Alan Moore, Louise said her son was “a bit of a livewire” who struggled to sit still – which is why he left not long after the family sat down to eat dinner at around 2.25pm.

“He didn’t want to sit and watch telly.

“He asked if he could go to the park with his mates.

“I said ‘ring me if you need me’, and with that he was gone.”

About 20 minutes, Louise’s phone rang, with Cason asking for his inhalers. “I didn’t panic at this point and one of the twins said they’d go on Cason’s bike.

“He was back in about 10 minutes and he said he seemed fine.”

The next time her phone rang, she knew things had taken a bad turn. “My phone went again and this time I could tell that the inhalers hadn’t worked.”

Describing how she ran to the park with the EpiPen they kept at Cason’s grandparents’ house, she said: “I could tell straight away that he’d had something because his eyes were all puffy.

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“The EpiPen I had on me was out of date. The one at my house was in date but the one at my mum and dad’s wasn’t.

“I was on the phone to the ambulance and asked permission to give it to him because it was out of date.

She gave it to him, but it didn’t work. “It made no difference.”

Giving her heartbreaking account, Louise recalled: “Cason was saying ‘I can’t breathe, I’m going to pass out’ and I was screaming ‘help him’.”

Ever since Cason’s nut allergy diagnosis more than 10 years ago, Louise didn’t keep any nuts “of any description” in the house. The out-of-date EpiPen she gave Cason at the park didn’t cause him any harm, it was established.

The schoolboy’s grandfather wrote in a statement that his “heart sank” when he realised what had happened. “I was just worried for Cason.

“As a family, we are completely heartbroken.

“Life will never be the same again.”

The 999 call was received at 3.18pm and the ambulance arrived at the park at 3.33pm.

At the inquest, the family questioned the length of time it took paramedics to get to the scene, to which Alan Jeeves, a paramedic with North West Ambulance Service, responded: “We were on route when the satnav leading us put us in a position where it wasn’t the right entrance to the park.”

The confusion cost “no longer than four or five minutes” but when they started to treat Cason, the 12-year-old was in a “state of panic”.

Mr Moore concluded Cason’s death was an accident. He said he was on duty on Christmas Day and remembered the case. “My heart really went out to you.

“I couldn’t even imagine what you were going through as a family.

“I can only say that as a family you have displayed, not just today but throughout since last Christmas, courage and dignity on a scale that I have never seen before.”

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