Acne medication linked to teenager's death

A teenager died when he suffered a suspected allergic reaction after taking acne medication for the first time, it emerged today.

An inquest into the death of talented rugby player Shaun Jones, 14, of Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd, south Wales, has been opened and adjourned.

Shaun's father Graeme Jones told BBC news online: "He was popular with the girls and had a couple of spots, so the doctor gave him some antibiotic acne tablets. A lot of his friends are taking them.

"It was the first time he'd taken them and he developed breathing difficulties. We called 999 and he went to hospital - but it was too late. The doctors couldn't save him."

Mr Jones said he did not blame the doctor who gave his son the tablets and added: "It was just one of those terrible things."

He declined to name the acne treatment until medical tests are completed.

Local Councillor Teresa Bates said: "I understand he had acne and was given medication and had a massive allergic reaction to it.

"I know his grandmother, and the family is devastated. So is the whole community."

Cllr Bates, a governor at Hawthorn High School, Pontypridd, which Shaun attended, said: "Everyone knows everyone here and they are all in our sympathies."

A spokeswoman for Cardiff Coroner's Office confirmed that an inquest into Shaun's death had been opened and adjourned.

Rhydyfelin RFC's Under 15s coach Dai Watkins, who knew Shaun for four years, said: "I am certain that this talented young man had a future in the game at the highest level, and that rugby's loss is heaven's gain."

Mr Watkins went on: "Shaun maintained his high standard of play and commitment throughout both club and schools district rugby.

"Shaun was extremely strong, fit, committed and a quiet young man within the district and club squads.

"He had a hunger for the game and set himself high expectations and standards and was a privilege and pleasure to coach, know and call a friend.

"Shaun possessed a rare quality, which you normally tend to see at the highest level of the game, it is the Jekyll and Hyde quality.

"He could go from the quietest gentleman, off the pitch to a young man who thrived in the big hits and physicality around rucks and mauls, loving the rough and tumble aspect of the game."