Inquest hears how parents did ‘everything they could’ to save their child as he choked to death on a blackberry

Thomas Ford, aged 15 months, of Stalham, who died after choking on a blackberry.

Thomas Ford, aged 15 months, of Stalham, who died after choking on a blackberry. - Credit: Archant

The parents of a 15-month-old boy who died after choking on a blackberry 'did everything they could' to save him, an inquest heard.

Thomas Ford, of St John's Road, Stalham, had been with his father Robert and sister Olivia, five, picking berries on September 27 last year.

But he started to choke after trying to eat one while being carried on his father's back along Weaver's Way.

An inquest in Norwich yesterday heard how his parents tried desperately to save him.

Mr Ford performed the Heimlich manoeuvre twice to try to dislodge the berry from his son's throat.

He then phoned his wife, Serena, for help, who arrived moments later on her bike and began CPR while Mr Ford phoned for an ambulance.

She said: 'His eyes were fixed and dilated and I know what this means as I am a nurse. It means he was dead.'

Paramedics arrived at the scene and were eventually able to get a pulse.

Most Read

Thomas was then flown by air ambulance to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, before being transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

But he died three days later in his parents' arms on September 30.

The inquest heard how Thomas died from severe cerebral hypoxic ischemic injury caused by choking.

David Osborne, assistant coroner for Norfolk, described the incident as an 'extremely sad and tragic case'.

He said: 'Thomas's parents did everything that they could have done in response to the incident which occurred when he started to choke.

'I wish to offer you my sincere condolences. One can't imagine what you must be going through having sustained such a tragic loss.'

He concluded that Thomas's death was the result of an accident.

Speaking about her son, Mrs Ford said: 'Thomas was my little boy. He was fun and mischievous. We called him DJ Thomas as he loved music and liked it loud.

'I would do anything to have him back.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter