‘Why did my daughter die?’ Mother of baby who choked on shepherd’s pie at Stockport nursery demands answers

By Danielle Wainwright

The mother of a baby who died after choking on shepherd’s pie last year at a Stockport nursery has demanded to know how the tragedy occurred.

Nine-month-old Millie Thompson had been fed the mashed up meal at Ramillies private nursery in Cheadle Hulme on October 23 when she began to cough and cry before her lips turned blue.

Staff performed first aid on the youngster and rang an ambulance when she was conscious and breathing.

A call operator told staff to ring back if her condition worsened and that paramedics were on their way however by the time an ambulance had arrived Millie had gone into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at Stepping Hill hospital.

Her mother Joanne now wants answers.

Speaking at Oldham Magistrates while clutching her daughter’s shoe, she said: “All we want to know is how our perfectly healthy daughter was dropped off where we felt she was safe and did not come home that day.

“How could she have choked on mashed potato? All we want to know is how did this happen.

“We don’t want any other parent to go through this.”

It was Millie’s third day at the school and was reported to have been ‘quite a confident eater’. Millie was also teething at the time and it was noticed that she had a cold on the day of the incident.

Nursery supervisor Alison Pope, who worked at the school for 17 years, told the hearing that she did not have paediatric first aid training and her basic first training was out of date.

She said: “I picked her up out of the chair. She started coughing more and she started going blue.”

When she and nursery assistant Samantha Sloan, who was trained in paediatric first aid, tried to clean her mouth of any food there was no blockage and began to administer back slaps.

Ms Sloan added that when she later rang for an ambulance, she said the call operator told her to ring back if anything changed and said that an ambulance was on the way.

The operator did not stay on the line as they waited for the paramedics to arrive. In her statement, she said that at that stage she felt ‘helpless’.

The hearing is expected to last for three days.

Picture courtesy of Scott via Flickr, with thanks.

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