Tuesday 21 October 2014

Nut allergy victim's mum reveals daughter's final words as she campaigns to make sure no other child has to die

ALAN O'KEEFFE

Published 14/04/2014 | 12:49

14 year old Emma Sloan. Source: Facebook
Emma Sloan died after having an allergic reaction to a peanut sauce she had in a restaurant.

THE mum of tragic allergy schoolgirl Emma Sloan has revealed that the teen’s final words were: “I’m not going to make it” and her younger sisters watched her die.

Caroline Sloan’s daughter Emma (14) mistakenly ate a peanut-based sauce in a self-service restaurant in central Dublin on December 18.

Speaking today to publicise a new campaign to make life-saving EpiPens freely available, mum Caroline said that her daughter died within 20 minutes of eating the sauce.

“From the time she ate the sauce until she died, it took 20 minutes – that’s all..

“Her last words were ‘I know I’m not going to make it. She knew she was dying.

“She was the life and soul of our house. We are devastated.”

Caroline also revealed that her own mother and sister were particularly close to Emma and they’re all united in their grief.

“It’s like three mothers are grieving. Her sisters stood and watched her die on that street corner. And there was nothing that any of us could do,”Caroline revealed on Liveline this afternoon.

Caroline Sloan said she wants no parent to suffer the heartbreaking loss of a child due to restrictions on the use of anti-allergy injections.

She also revealed that Emma had two allergic reactions to peanuts in the past but it was years previously and the family did not have an EpiPen with them.

Caroline went into a pharmacy around the corner and asked for an EpiPen anti-allergy injection but was informed it was only available on prescription. She was advised to bring her to the emergency department at Temple Street hospital.

Emma was outside on O'Connell Street. As they began to hurry towards the hospital, Emma collapsed on the footpath and died.

Caroline (40) said : "The law needs to be changed to allow EpiPens to be kept in schools and restaurants and creches so they can be used to save lives.

"All children with allergies that could be fatal should have to wear special medic alert bracelets. Parents of those children should be given identity cards which would allow them to get an EpiPen in a pharmacy."

Caroline had taken Emma on two occasions when she was younger to Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin after her lips had swelled up from a peanut allergy.

"But I never realised when I was in the hospital that it could be fatal. I have spoken with other parents who have children with peanut allergies and they told me they didn't know either," she said.

She wants more education for parents of vulnerable children so they realise that their child's peanut allergy could kill.

She is awaiting the outcome of two investigations into the death of Emma. She gave a statement in January to a probe by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

Ms Sloan is also awaiting an inquest to be held into her daughter's death. She wants a wide-ranging investigation in all aspects of the matter.

She visited the Dail this week and meet with Sinn Fein TDs, including leader Gerry Adams, to press them to support a widening of investigation.

Caroline is hoping others seeking freer access to EpiPens will contact her through her Facebook page.

"I need to be Emma's voice in this world now. This must never happen again," she said.

She wants teachers and restaurant staff to be trained to recognise the symptoms of allergic reactions and to be able to give the life-saving injections.

"Emma died needlessly. I'm feeling so angry now. She was a vibrant young woman with her life ahead of her," she said.

hnews@herald.ie

Evening Herald

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