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Edgware parents pay tribute to 'beautiful and happy' child at Barnet Coroners Court inquest
A “beautiful” six-year-old died days after having a feeding tube inserted, an inquest heard yesterday.
Maahi Hiten Waghela, of Cameron Crescent, Edgware, had a degenerative brain disorder but “rarely fell ill” until the day she collapsed at home on June 16, 2013.
Maahi, who could not talk, was fitted with the tube on June 12, 2013 because she was slow to feed and unusually slender for her age, weighing just 8kg.
But on the day she died, she suddenly became unresponsive.
Her mother, Binnie Waghela, an optician, said: “She was absolutely fine 30 seconds before but then she went stone cold.
“She turned blue. I lost her straight away.”
Coroner Andrew Walker questioned whether aspiration - when fluid from the stomach enters the lungs - was a cause of death.
Dr Lino Kiho, a pathologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, could not say for certain whether this was the case, though did say the extent of damage in the lungs was “remarkable”.
Maahi collapsed at home at around 10.30pm and paramedics spent 45 minutes performing CPR before she was taken to Barnet General Hospital in Wellhouse Lane.
Paediatric consultant Dr Claire Rohan spent a further 25 minutes trying to resuscitate the child but she was pronounced dead at 11.34pm on June 16.
Coroner Andrew Walker yesterday recorded a conclusion of natural causes at Barnet Coroners Court.
Paying tribute to their daughter, her parents said in a joint statement: “She was a beautiful girl who was loved unconditionally by her family.
“Her only form of communication was by laughing and she was only upset when she was in pain.
“She recognised people closest to her and was aware of who was feeding her. She rarely fell ill.
“She loved being kissed and cuddled by her four-year-old sister and loved it when her dad would sing in her ear. She always recognised it.
“We’ll never really be a family again.”
In a statement read out to the courtroom, her teacher said: “She was a frail child, quite subdued, but sometimes she would laugh and make small, happy sounds.
“She was passive but happy, and enjoyed musical activities.”
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