Boy, 10, ‘turned blue’ and died suddenly from asthma attack while playing on trampoline

Warren Dowling started to panic when his inhaler didn’t work and died shortly after asthma attack

Alexander Butler
Wednesday 24 April 2024 04:29 BST
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Warren Dowling, 10, died of an asthma attack after playing on a trampoline with his brother
Warren Dowling, 10, died of an asthma attack after playing on a trampoline with his brother (Asthma and Lung UK/PA)

A “happy and cheeky” boy turned blue and died of an asthma attack after playing with his brother on a trampoline at home.

Warren Dowling, one of seven siblings, was having fun with his brother Cameron before he quickly turned blue and stopped breathing in his garden in Portsmouth last year.

The 10-year-old had been “fine” all day but started to panic when his inhaler didn’t work and died after his father tried desperately to save his life with CPR.

His heartbroken brother Cameron, 7, was left asking his mother why Warren didn’t come back to play after he promised he would.

His mother Belinda said: “Warren mostly managed fine with his asthma, but once or twice a year he’d have a really bad asthma attack and have to go to hospital, which was frightening.

Warren Dowling turned blue and suddenly died of an asthma attack after playing on a trampoline with his brother
Warren Dowling turned blue and suddenly died of an asthma attack after playing on a trampoline with his brother (Asthma and Lung UK/PA Wire)

“Then one evening last March, after he’d been fine in school all day and happily played with his little brother Cameron on the trampoline, he came to me and said he needed his inhaler.

“It didn’t seem to be working and he started to panic, then while I was on the phone for an ambulance, he turned blue and stopped breathing.

“His dad did CPR until the ambulance arrived and got him to hospital, but there was nothing they could do to save him. Warren was always so happy with a cheeky smile on his face, even if he was getting told off – a real character.

“His siblings have all been coping in different ways, it comes up at random times. Seven-year-old Cameron asked me the other day why Warren didn’t come back out to play with him on the trampoline, when he’d promised he would.”

Now, she has called for more awareness around the condition following his death, with a leading charity warning asthma care was at a “standstill”.

Ms Dowling said: “There has never been enough awareness of asthma, I want everyone to know how serious asthma is and for no-one else to go through what we have. I know Warren would be really happy if his story could help others.”

Charity Asthma and Lung UK said “shockingly little” had changed since a landmark report into the condition 10 years ago which recommended steps to prevent unnecessary deaths.

More than 12,000 people in the UK have died from asthma attacks since the National Review of Asthma Deaths report was published, according to the charity.

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