Mother of toddler tells how she desperately tried to save him as he died choking on piece of banana

A police officer who attended the 999 call discovered that the child was his nephew

Lamiat Sabin
Thursday 16 December 2021 23:38
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<p>Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Hospital in north Wales </p>

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Hospital in north Wales

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A mother has told an inquest into her toddler’s death that she was “trying anything” to save him as he choked on a piece of fruit.

Dylan John James Greig was two-years-old when he died in hospital after the tragic accident at their home in St Asaph, Denbighshire, on 27 July.

Danielle Butterley said in a statement read at the inquest that she had given him half a banana that evening before his bedtime, instead of his usual bottle of milk.

After she left the room for no more than 30 seconds, she returned to find Dylan lying on his back on the sofa, she said.

Ms Butterley continued: “I quickly realised something was wrong. He was flapping his arms around and I could see he was choking. I was trying anything. I can’t describe the sound that came from him.”

She said the piece of banana in her son’s throat was “completely stuck fast and wasn’t moving”.

John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales east and central, heard at an inquest on Tuesday at Ruthin County Hall that Ms Butterley, 30, had patted him on the back to try to dislodge the piece of banana.

She called 999 and was advised by the ambulance control room over the phone on how to revive Dylan, while police and paramedics were dispatched, she said in her statement.

PC Brian Lloyd Williams arrived at the house and realised the child was his nephew.

In his statement, PC Williams, whose wife is Ms Butterley's sister, said he was “incredibly shocked” on entering the house to find his sister-in-law carrying out chest compressions on Dylan – adding: “I will never be able to forget that night.”

He led Ms Butterley from the room while paramedics tried to resuscitate Dylan, who died later that evening at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital.

After reading Ms Butterley’s statement, coroner Mr Gittins told her: “I can’t imagine for one second how difficult that must have been for you.”

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death caused by hypoxic cardiac arrest due to choking on the banana.

Mr Gittins said the banana had been given to Dylan in an “entirely appropriate” way, and said that it was “a tragic set of events that ultimately led to the loss of this two-year-old.”

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