Hayfield girl died of asthma attack

A Hayfield girl’s heart stopped several times after suffering a fatal asthma attack, an inquest heard.
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Holly Swainson was rushed to hospital on June 21 after telling her parents she couldn’t breathe when she returned from walking the dog.

The 15-year-old passed out on her parents bed at home on New Mills Road, before paramedics arrived to resuscitate her.

Holly was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital where the emergency department managed to get a tube down her wind pipe to ventilate her.

At her inquest in Chesterfield on Thursday, the coroner heard her heart stopped several times and doctors gave her adrenalin and CPR to get it started again.

An X-ray revealed she had two collapsed lungs. It is unknown whether her lungs collapsing precipitated her asthma attack or whether it happened as a consequence.

Her father Andrew Swainson said that Holly had developed asthma in 2000, but had never had a severe attack.

He said: “It was controlled. She was able to do most things. There was nothing she couldn’t do because of her asthma. She still took part in sport at school and played the flute. She did a two-day walk for her Duke of Edinburgh award.”

On the morning of her death, Holly had got up a 5am to revise for her French GCSE exam that day. When she returned from school, she said she was tired and went for a nap.

The family had dinner together at 7pm and afterwards Holly took the dog for a walk and went to check the bus timetables ahead of her travelling to the Lighthouse charity shop in New Mills the next day, where she volunteered.

She came home at about 8pm and complained she was struggling to breathe.

Mum Debbie Swainson said: “The last words she said to me were ‘Mummy, I can’t breathe’.”

When paramedics arrived she was not breathing and had no pulse.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter concluded that Holly died of natural causes, ruling that the cause of death was an acute respiratory attack due to a severe acute asthma attack complicated by her lungs collapsing.

Addressing her parents Andrew and Debbie, he said: “Young people get a bad press but Holly shines out. She was very active, much loved by her family and friends. I know that there will be many dark days ahead but try and remember the good times. She was a very special person. She’s an example of someone who was dynamic and motivated. Her death is very tragic and was so sudden and unexpected.”

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