Salhouse boy died from allergic reaction, inquest told

The coroner's court in Thorpe Road, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley The coroner's court in Thorpe Road, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Saturday, May 17, 2014
12:13 PM

A father’s desperate efforts to save his eight-year-old son as he struggled to breathe due to a severe allergic reaction were described to an inquest yesterday.

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The parents of Edward Debbage, who died on February 10, did not feel able to attend the inquest in Norwich.

But in a statement read to the court, Matthew Debbage described the final moments as they tried to save his life.

The inquest heard that Edward had a range of food allergies and also suffered from asthma, the congenital heart disease, aortic stenosis, and eczema.

The boy had become ill on February 10 and told his parents that he had a tummy ache and was wheezy. They decided to take him to the accident and emergency unit at the N&N for a suspected asthma attack.

But Mr Debbage said: “Edward was by now becoming very agitated, and said he could not breathe. My wife phoned for an ambulance, but Edward was really agitated by now, and threw off the onesie he was wearing. He said ‘I’m going to die’. His lips went a blue colour and he fell to the floor gasping for breath.”

The couple were speaking to an ambulance operator on the phone and tried to calm their son down. Mr Debbage started chest compressions, but his son was not responding. Ambulance crews arrived and gave the boy a shot of adrenalin but after 87 minutes trying to save him, they said they had done all they could.

Mr Debbage, from Salhouse, near Norwich, said in the statement that the family had been through an “unimaginable heartache”, and had spent every minute of the last three months wondering whether they could have done more to save their son. In a narrative conclusion, assistant coroner for Norfolk, David Osborne said that while Edward died from an anaphylactic shock, its precise cause or trigger remained unclear.

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