10-month-old baby died after choking on piece of apple, inquest hears

A-ten-month old baby died after he choked on a piece of apple at the family home, an inquest has heard.

The court head how the baby was ‘happily chewing’ a small piece of apple when he started to choke.

The baby was described by his father as a ‘really good boy’ who was curious about everything.

“He liked to eat very much, he ate everything. He travelled a lot with us. He was a very happy boy. He was always under our eyes,” the parents - whose names are not being printed by request - told Dublin Coroner’s Court.

The baby was the couple’s third and the family had spent the afternoon at a circus before returning to their home in Maynooth, Co Kildare, the court heard.

“He was sitting on the floor. I started eating an apple. After I started eating he always wanted something. I bit off a very small piece and gave it to him. He had three or four teeth. I watched as he started to bite. He was happy and relaxed, he liked the sweet apple,” the bay's father said.

About ten minutes later, the boy’s mother said she ‘got a bad feeling’ when she entered the bedroom and ran to her son.

“He was sitting up but he couldn’t breathe. I tried to get the apple out by slapping but it wouldn’t (come out.) I tried mouth to mouth, it didn’t work,” she said.

The court head how the father grabbed the baby and ran outside. He jumped a fence into a nearby nursing home, where staff immediately began to resuscitate the baby. An ambulance was called and the baby arrived at Our Lady's Children’s Hospital in Crumlin at 8.40pm. The baby was resuscitated and admitted to intensive care.

An MRI scan showed he had suffered a devastating brain injury.

The baby was pronounced dead at 2.30pm on December 26, 2014, five days after the original choking incident.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

“It does seem that it (the piece of apple) did cause an episode of choking... I can’t find any other explanation other than a choking episode. This caused a cardiac arrest and the baby suffered a devastating hypoxic cerebral injury.”


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