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Parents tell of heartbreak after 'freak accident' led to daughter's death

Abby Reese Beaumont died when food got into her lungs and caused haemorrhaging Credit: Family Photo

The heartbroken parents of a teenager who was "full of life" have told how a "freak accident" led to her death.

Abby Reese Beaumont died soon after she regurgitated food which got into her lungs and caused haemorrhaging.

The 15-year-old from Mold started coughing and collapsed on the kitchen floor of her home in Mold on April 2 last year as she tried to get a drink of water.

Despite "massive efforts" from neighbours - two of whom were doctors and two had military medical training, as well as a swift response from ambulance crews - Abby went into cardiac arrest and died quickly afterwards.

Abby's parent's described her as 'a very grown up, mature lady' Credit: Family Photo

Abby's parents Darren and Alison described it as a "freak accident" and said nothing more could have been done to save their "fit and healthy" daughter.

An inquest at Mold County Hall heard when she got home from school, she made herself some nachos with chicken for tea at around 7pm and went up to her room afterwards to lie on her bed and chat to friends on her mobile phone.

But at around 11pm, Abby started coughing and made her way downstairs to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

In a statement from her dad, Darren, who had been in the lounge, he described hearing his daughter calling out for her mum twice.

He rushed to the kitchen to find she had collapsed on the floor with blood coming from her nose and mouth.

Alison called 999 at 11.20pm while their other 13-year-old daughter, Jessica, ran to the neighbours to get help.

Abby had gone into cardiac arrest by the time the ambulance arrived at 11.28pm and CPR was being carried out by one of the neighbours.

Paramedics tried to maintain her airways and carried on their attempts while Abby was rushed to Wrexham Maelor Hospital where a team of medics tried in vain to save her.

Abby's father, Darren, said losing Abby was 'more like losing a friend' Credit: Family Photo

Paramedic Jonathan Cross was first on the scene and told the inquest he was responding to a red emergency call.

He said Abby had "a big airway problem and profuse haemorrhaging".

Mr Cross said: "We had to give Abby everything we could...at no time did we stop giving any advance life support."

He went on to describe the efforts made to maintain Abby's airway but said she had a cardiac flatline (Asystole) which means her heart had completely stopped.

Holding back tears, he told the family: "I think about you every day...I'm really sorry."

Paediatric pathologist, Dr Rajeev Shukla carried out a postmortem. He said that Abby had no underlying medical conditions but suggested her lungs may have bled because of "obstruction by food particles" that could have been caused by stomach acid being brought back up and swallowed back down the wrong way.

A medical cause of death was given as "foreign body aspiration with massive pulmonary haemorrhage".

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, coroner for North Wales east and central, John Gittins said: "From the point when Abby collapsed in the kitchen there was no cardiac output and she remained Asystole throughout."

Meat, probably chicken has gone into her airways leading to a stress reaction...This was not a choking.

She had her tea (three to four hours earlier) and no one expected anything of this nature to ever exist.

This was an awful event that befell you and your family in relation to the loss of your lovely daughter.

She was clearly a girl who was very cared for and loved.

This was a very tragic scenario.

– John Gittins, coroner

Abby was a very grown up, mature lady for 15.

Losing Abby was more like losing a friend for both of us.

We had very adult conversations, she was very confident, outgoing and friendly.

It was a freak situation, but we as a family have always known it wasn't a choking episode, even though we waited for five months for any autopsy results.

In that time, we questioned everything.

Closure for me is knowing that it happened quickly before she left the house, she hadn't been poorly and we couldn't have had any more help or a quicker response on the night.

Nothing more could have been done to save her.

Everyone tried their best, it was just so sad and unfortunate.

– Darren Beaumont, Abby's father

Darren and Alison now have plans to set up an organisation to offer help and support for families who lose a child so suddenly and unexpectedly.

Darren added: "It's been a roller coaster experience.

"Losing a child is the worst thing anyone can go through."