Girl killed by allergic reaction after just 'one lick' of ice cream

British schoolgirl, nine, was killed by allergic reaction after just ‘one lick’ of ice cream on Spanish family holiday, inquest hears

  • Habiba Chishti was on a half-term holiday in the Costa del Sol with her family
  •  The nine-year-old, from West Yorkshire, was severely allergic to nuts and eggs
  • Father told inquest vendor assured him that the ice cream did not have nuts in
  • Habiba collapsed at hotel a short while later and was rushed to Spanish hospital 
  • Coroner ruled she died from anaphylactic shock which caused her brain to swell

Habiba Chishti, nine, died while on a Spanish  half term break with her family after suffering an allergic reaction to nuts in an ice cream

A nine-year-old British schoolgirl who died on a Spanish family holiday was killed by an allergic reaction after just ‘one lick’ of an ice cream, an inquest heard.

Habiba Chishti suffered the fatal reaction just hours after arriving on the Costa del Sol for a break with her father, mother and siblings in February 2019.

The ‘kind’ girl was rushed to hospital after she went into a suspected anaphylactic shock after having eating the ice cream.

An inquest at Bradford Coroner’s Court today heard how the tragic schoolgirl suddenly collapsed on February 16 while on holiday with her family.

Her distraught father, Dr Wajid Azam Chishti, told the court how he had bought her an ice cream with some chocolate sauce that afternoon.

He had asked the vendor three times if the sauce contained nuts and on three occasions was assured it didn’t.

Habiba suffered from a severe allergy to eggs and nuts, as well as asthma, but was ‘fine’ to enjoy dairy products such as ice cream.

Later that evening she collapsed at the hotel and was rushed to Malaga Hospital in an ambulance, but doctors were unable to save her life.

She died from an anaphylactic shock on February 18, two days after suffering a severe allergic reaction to the sauce’s ingredients, a post-mortem revealed.

‘Club La Costa World’ resort entrance in Mijas, where the family had reportedly been staying

The report revealed she had lethal doses of peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, and pistachios in her system which ‘starved her brain’ of oxygen.

Her heartbroken father, a doctor with the NHS, said he was ‘devastated’ there was nothing he could do to save her despite ‘all of his training’.

He told the court how there were no usual symptoms of anaphylactic shock before she suddenly collapsed.

Dr Chishti, from Halifax, West Yorks., told the court: ‘Habiba took one lick and she was absolutely fine at the time – but that’s all it took.

‘When we got back [from the ice cream vendor] she was okay. But when we got to the restaurant she started to feel unwell.

‘We left and went back to the hotel as we thought it was her asthma so we could get her inhaler.

‘There weren’t classical signs of anaphylaxis.

‘I went to the reception to see if we could get some help but I didn’t know it was a serious issue.

The swimming pool and apartment complex where the Chishti family were staying

‘By the time I got back to see her my wife said she’d collapsed.

‘We have emergency training every year. It’s so scary that we have all this training but it’s no use when there are no symptoms.

‘It’s mind boggling. With all the knowledge from everything you learned, it feels like it’s doubly worse. It’s still so hard.

Father: ‘I’m starting to realise I have to move on for the sake of my other children but it’s very hard’ 

Dr Chishti said they used to go on family holidays abroad every six months but now can’t even get himself to go on a weekend away in the UK.

He said: ‘It was incredibly hard.

‘We’ve been to different countries with the family, we never experienced anything like we did in Spain.

‘We used to go on holiday every six months to get the kids out but since the sad loss of Habiba we’re very reluctant. Even in the UK.

‘Even going to Centre Parcs, we just don’t go. I’m starting to realise I have to move on for the sake of my other children but it’s very hard.’

Dr Chishti broke down in tears as he recalled how his little girl kept urging him to join good causes and do charitable work.

He said: ‘Habiba always wanted me to help local charities, I told her I was already doing a lot but because she kept asking I told her I’d do more.

‘She loved going to school. She was so good.

‘I’m helping a charity in Gambia now because Habiba wanted me to.’

‘In that sense I feel even more devastated that we didn’t see what was going on.’

He told the court how staff at Club La Costa World in Mijas, where they were staying, didn’t help him as he performed CPR on his daughter to try to save her life.

He said he ‘couldn’t understand’ why he wasn’t allowed to stay by his daughter’s side when the ambulance finally arrived and had to get to the hospital by taxi.

He told the court: ‘We called the ambulance, I did CPR myself.

‘The ambulance seemed to take forever, but it was 11 minutes. But it felt like it was a long time.

‘I continued doing mouth to mouth but none of the actual medical staff in the resort came forward.

‘We were already anxious and we just wanted to know what was going on.

‘It was very bizarre, we weren’t even allowed to go into the ambulance.

‘I don’t understand why her parents weren’t allowed to be with their child.

‘We had to take a taxi and we didn’t even know where we were. It wasn’t until hours later that a doctor came to speak to us.’ 

The inquest heard how the little girl was ‘starved of oxygen’ after the allergic reaction caused her swelling in her brain.

Professor Marta Cohen, a consultant paediatric pathologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, told the court how ‘one lick is enough’ for the allergy to be lethal.

Professor Cohen said: ‘I took tissue which showed evidence of swelling in the brain. Before she died she went through an episode of starvation of oxygen to the brain.

‘The oxygen couldn’t get through her lungs and bloodstream to her brain.

‘She was starved of oxygen.

‘The ice cream which potentially contained one or more allergen, are all in keeping with the developments of anaphylactic shock.

‘On the balance of probability her cause of death was from anaphylactic shock.

‘One lick is enough – if someone is really allergic, it can even just be from it being in the environment.

‘This is why peanuts are not allowed on planes.’

Pictured: Miramar Shopping centre in Fuengirola – believed to be where Habiba’s father bought the ice cream before the nine-year-old collapsed and died

Assistant coroner Katy Dickinson recorded a narrative conclusion, and said: ‘Habiba sadly passed away on February 18, 2019 in Malaga Hospital in Spain.

‘I’m very sorry we find ourselves here today.

‘On balance she died as a result, and despite medical intervention, from anaphylactic shock.

‘I’m so sorry that this has happened, and that you have had to be part of this process.

‘She sounds like a lovely girl with a big heart. A kind little girl. I’m sorry you lost her, my heart goes out to you, her siblings, her family.

‘With her allergies, it must have been so difficult for you to keep her safe and well for nine years because she could at any point accidentally fall ill.

‘The severity of these allergies need to be highlighted.

‘But I want to thank you for whatever your duties are at the NHS. We are very grateful.’

Source: Read Full Article

Previous post Here’s How To Stream BLACKPINK’s ‘The Show,’ So You Don’t Miss Rosé’s Solo Debut
Next post Margo Price Debuts Music Video for 'Soul Searching' Song About Addiction and Mental Health: Listen