Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Nightmares

There was a tragic story in the news this week that wrenches at the heart of every parent of a food-allergic child.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Nathan Francis, a Scotch College student in Australia, who this week learned that the military has been fined $210,000 (AU) for negligence in the death of their son.

The story can be found here, but a synopsis is that while at an army cadet camp back in March of 2007, Nathan – who was allergic to peanuts – was given a rations pack containing beef satay. After one mouthful he was rushed by a friend back to the camp HQ, but Nathan died en route to the hospital.

According to another paper, parents were told by the school not to provide food for the students but were asked to alert the staff to any food allergies. Nathan’s mother warned the staff that Nathan should avoid all nuts, but apparently “a list of students with food allergies did not reach the staff member who issued the meals”.

This parent’s worst nightmare has prompted many people to call for an inquest into the school’s involvement in Nathan’s death. Again, our hearts and prayers go out to Nathan’s family as the events surrounding his tragic death are again brought to the fore.

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