Sussex parents speak out on death of son, 7: ‘The worst experience of our lives’
The family of a seven-year-old West Sussex boy who died from an allergic reaction have spoken out on ‘the worst experience’ of their lives.
Cameron Wahid was on holiday in Italy with his family in October 2015 when he suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction to dairy produce when the family stopped for lunch as part of a tour at a restaurant near to Ravello town square.
Cameron died at Naples’ Santobono Hospital three days later.
Following his death, Cameron’s devastated parents Cassandra and Riz instructed international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.
The lawyers say that the family told staff at the restaurant about Cameron’s severe allergies but were assured that a pasta dish was safe for him to eat.
The meal, in fact, contained dairy produce. Cameron went into cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Last September, say the lawyers, a waitress at the restaurant where the schoolboy and his family had dined was found guilty of culpable manslaughter by an Italian court.
Now the family, from East Grinstead, are calling for lessons to be learned and raising awareness of the seriousness of allergies.
Dad Riz, who began working as an ambassador with charity Allergy UK after his son’s death, said: “Cameron’s allergy had always been severe, but we were so careful with him and scrupulous with what he ate.
“Prior to his allergic reaction, we were assured by the waiting staff that the food was safe for him. To see him going into anaphylactic shock and suffering like that was undoubtedly the worst experience of our lives.
“He was such a lovely little boy, and always brightened up our days. We feel his death was avoidable and we are still struggling to come to terms with him not being here anymore.
“We know nothing will bring him back, but we want to help stop others from suffering the pain we continue to feel.
“People need to know how serious allergies can be, and we will continue to work in raising much-needed awareness.
“We are grateful that the case is now at an end, and want to thank everyone for all the support we have had.
“For us, everything has been about using the criminal trial process in Italy to ensure that justice was obtained for Cameron, which we have done, as well as to establish facts and ensure lessons are learned so that others don’t have to suffer like we have.”
Irwin Mitchell lawyer Daniel Matchett, representing the family, said: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult for Cameron’s family, after having to see him die from an allergic reaction which could and should have been prevented.
“Cassandra and Riz were always very careful with controlling Cameron’s allergies, and losing him has had such a devastating impact on them.
“While they cannot turn back the clock and change what happened, Cassandra and Riz want to make people aware that allergies are potentially life-threatening to help ensure that no others go through what they have.”
The lawyers secured an undisclosed settlement.
Allergy UK is the leading national charity providing support, advice and information for those living with allergic disease. See https://www.allergyuk.org/