Nine-year-old school boy dies after he’s given fish fingers to eat at school

2017-08-22 15:15
PHOTO: Magazine Features

PHOTO: Magazine Features

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In what can only be described as a terrible tragedy, a nine-year-old boy died after suffering an allergic reaction to fish fingers he was given at his school recently.

Ismaeel Ashraf from Bordesley Green in Birmingham in the UK had been served the lunchtime meal at his Islamic school after canteen staff ignored paperwork stating he was allergic to fish.

An hour later he complained to his teachers that his stomach was hurting.

Paramedics were called to treat the grade five pupil but it was too late. He was later pronounced dead at the city's Heartlands Hospital after going into anaphylactic shock.

Later it emerged that he was not given an epipen (an epinephrine injection used for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions) to stop the reaction by school staff.

A four day jury inquest later revealed the school had a red book which stated Ishmaeel's dietary requirements including fish.

Kitchen assistant Gemma Sheedi said he’d asked the chef if Ismaeel could have the fish fingers, containing pollock, and was told he could. “The schoolboy was actually allergic to kiwi fruit, dairy products, nuts and tuna in brine but fish was added to the list in the school's book.

He says about five pupils wore badges showing their allergies, one of them being Ishmael but over time the pupils “stopped wearing their badges because we already knew what they were.”

 He added that when they looked in the book later they were shocked to see Ismaeel was allergic to fish.

Birmingham coroner Louise Hunt said, "He was sent to the school's reception and was given Pirotin to treat his allergic reaction at around 2pm.”

"He asked for his inhaler because he had difficulties with his breathing. He was with a member of staff who stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. Ambulance staff then arrived and gave him his epipen,” he said.

But it was too late. His devastated parents, who have three other children at the school, paid tribute to their son at the hearing with his father Tehseen Ashraf (38), saying, “He was a very keen football fan and we would often play football in the park.

“He was very mature for his age, when we went shopping he picked up food that he likes and then the first thing he did was check the ingredients to check if he was allergic to it.”

When asked if he had supplied the school epipens in case his son suffered an allergic reaction, he replied, "Yes".

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