PARENTS of a toddler who died after choking on a piece of sausage have paid tribute to their “happy and loving” son.
Steven and Vicky Milner, speaking yesterday for the first time following the inquest into the death of their son Adam, said they hope no other family will have to go through the pain of losing their child in the same way.
Two-year-old Adam was left unable to breathe when food blocked his airway while he was eating his lunch at Portland House Nursery in Lindley on August 19, 2009.
The tot was left so brain damaged that four days later his parents had to make the agonising decision to turn off his life support machine.
Following the inquest in Bradford – in which a jury returned an open verdict – Adam’s father read out a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, who was not present.
Mr Milner said they had concerns throughout the week-long inquest about the care Adam received before he arrived at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Mr Milner, a solicitor, said he and his legal executive wife were concerned that the nursery nurses had not been given adequate first aid training to deal with choking children.
And he said the emergency response vehicle had been later than it should have been because at first it had gone to the wrong nursery at an address at Portland Street.
Mr Milner added: “We also feel that the ambulance service should be required to ensure that all ambulances attending the highest category of emergency are crewed by a fully-trained paramedic which is not currently the case and, sadly, wasn’t in Adam’s case.”
Mr Milner said he was concerned about food – such as pieces of sausage – which could become the ‘perfect plug’ for a child’s airway.
Summing up the inquest, coroner Roger Whittaker said he would be writing to Ofsted, the regulatory body for education and learning, to let them know about Adam’s case and how a piece of sausage had become this ‘perfect plug’ for his airway.
He said he had “no criticism” of the nursery nurses, but he would be asking Ofsted to consider whether or not more First Aid training could be provided to them or whether they would consider it ‘impractical’ to expect nursery staff to be able to treat a toddler with ‘tummy thrusts’ to expel a foreign body from a blocked airway.
Mr Whittaker said the concerns raised about the ambulance service had already been dealt with by West Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
The 10-strong jury with a majority of nine concluded that Adam had choked on a foreign body and was starved of oxygen and had a heart attack.
Mr Whittaker said: “It has been an anguishing experience for the members of the jury, but our anguish pales into insignificance to that of the parents.”