Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I had some really sad news today. I volunteer as a reading helper at my local primary school. In February I was assigned to a boy who was identified as likely to benefit from one-to-one reading help. He was the sort of well behaved child who just disappears in a class of 30 children.
Well, he flourished and his reading level advanced by 3 subgrades which his teacher told me was more than expected.
Yesterday the boy was almost squealing with excitement about a forthcoming holiday. He told me yesterday was his last day at school. That was a prophetic statement.
Today I had 2 phone messages and an email asking me to phone the school urgently. They wanted to give me the sad news before I heard it from anyone else. It turns out that the boy choked on a 50p coin and fell. The hospital was treating his head injury but did not spot that his airway was blocked until it was too late. Sadly he died.
I was completely shocked by the news. I was standing up at the time and now I understand why you should always ask someone to sit down before passing on bad news. If I hadn't been close to a chair, I would have fainted.
It was such a waste of a young life. I can't understand how medical professionals wouldn't spot that an airway was blocked. But the blame game won't help now.
Life is precious and can be snuffed out just like that. The only consolation is that this boy really did live every day to the full and was actually very happy recently. That is the message I am going to take from this tragedy. Live life, be healthy and happy.