Death threats to pharmacy in nut tragedy row
Published 30/12/2013 | 07:43
DEATH threats have been made to the Dublin pharmacy that declined to give life-saving medicine to the mother of a teenage girl who died a short time later.
The Hamilton Long pharmacy on O’Connell Street said they could not give Caroline Sloan an anti-allergy EpiPen for her 14-year-old daughter Emma because she did not have the required prescription.
Emma, from Drimnagh in Dublin, had eaten a satay sauce meal at Jimmy Chung’s Chinese Buffet on Eden Quay before suffering a severe allergic reaction on December 18. The restaurant had a sign saying the meal contained nuts.
The teenager had been prescribed an EpiPen to deal with her nut allergy in the past but did not have the device with her when she began suffering the reaction.
Emma stayed outside the pharmacy while her mother went to ask staff for an EpiPen.
A source told the Herald last night that when Caroline emerged from the shop, Emma was still standing and expressing anxiety about her allergic reaction.
However, since the incident Hamilton Long pharmacy has received several death threats.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland has begun an investigation into Emma’s death and gardai are carrying out a separate investigation.
Caroline decided to take her daughter to Temple Street Hospital emergency department but Emma collapsed on O’Connell Street after telling her mother: “I can’t breathe. I’m not going to make it”.
The teenager collapsed on the ground and died on the pavement on nearby Abbey Street.
A doctor who was passing tried to help as did ambulance and fire staff called to the scene but all efforts to help Emma were unsuccessful.
Emma was rushed to hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The third-year student had been out for a family meal when she mistakenly ate the peanut-based sauce.
Caroline Sloan has described how her daughter was diagnosed with a nut allergy at a young age but “never had an attack like that”.
More than 2,000 people attended Emma’s funeral at the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Her mother described Emma as “a very attractive girl”.
“She was due to sit the Junior Cert in June,” she said. “She was a beautiful, smart and funny girl. If I could sum her up in one sentence she was one of a kind. She wanted to be a make-up artist.”
Caroline related how Emma's toddler sister Mia watched her die on the pavement.
She said: “My daughter Amy held Mia in her arms as Emma died. Mia saw her die.”
The family had recently moved into a council house not far from Caroline's mother's home and had all been looking forward to spending Christmas in their new home.
By Clodagh Sheehy