Inquest into primary school’s care after child dies

Berger Primary School. Pic: Flickr

Berger Primary School. Pic: Flickr

A Hackney mother is demanding answers after her son, who was born with a hole in his heart, died in the care of his primary school.

Lorna Williams was called to Berger Primary School on October 23 with reports that nine-year-old Rasharn Williams was having a “panic attack” due to a “fright” during the school’s Halloween party.

His mother claims it stated in his care plan that, should he fall ill, an ambulance must be phoned immediately.

Despite being aware of his condition, the school failed to follow this guidance and alert the emergency services.

The grieving mother, who was in Leyton at the time of the incident, told the Hackney Gazette: “It took me half an hour to get there. The worst thing about it is, when I got there, they asked me if they should call the ambulance.”

“The ambulance then took seven minutes to get there – my son could have been in the hospital by then and being taken care of.”

Staff at the Homerton University Hospital tried to save the boy but he died after two hours.

Williams said: “I want my answers. No one can tell me to this day what happened – all they can say is he had a panic attack.”

“I wouldn’t feel like this if they had called the ambulance. I believe he could have still been here.”

The boy was under the care of a heart specialist at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital and the Halloween event was the first that he had attended alone.

His mother added: “He was trying to lead a normal life. He was a humble little boy. You could hardly hear him when he spoke, he was so shy. He was always smiling.”

Rasharn’s funeral took place yesterday and an inquest into his death has been opened.

The school’s head teacher has described the boy’s death as a “tragic loss”, but said it would be inappropriate to comment further, now an investigation is underway.

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