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Sunday 19 November 2017

Family despair as death of pizza girl Georgia a mystery

Georgia Murphy
Georgia Murphy

The family of a 13-year-old girl who died days after eating pizza with friends were left distraught after an inquest failed to identify what exactly caused her to suffer a lethal allergic reaction.

Bray schoolgirl Georgia Murphy, an asthmatic, died on June 21, 2015, at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin after a day of summer fun with her friends.

Her family had hoped the inquest into her death, which concluded yesterday, would provide answers to why she died.

However, it is understood they were left distressed by the narrative verdict recorded by coroner Dr Myra Cullinane.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that June 18 began like any ordinary day for a girl of Georgia's age.

The teenager, full of life, had gone swimming with her friends before returning home to eat pizza and drink mango juice.

She later ran to a shop with her friends, where the group had ice pops and sweets.

However, Georgia suddenly complained she was having difficulty breathing and her pals called to her house to collect an inhaler. When they returned to her, she could not inhale.

A passer-by took Georgia home in a car but she collapsed shortly afterwards.

Critical

The emergency services were called and she was resuscitated at her home in Giltspur Wood, but was transferred "in a critical state" to hospital, the inquest heard.

She had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Despite all attempts to save her, Georgia died in hospital three days later.

Her death was recorded as an acute anaphylactic allergic response to an unidentified allergen.

Despite the inquest, the issue causing the severe reaction was not identified.

Georgia's family, including her mother and father, Janet and Niall, had hoped that the inquest would provide further answers.

They had even sought the opinion of a medical expert to help clarify the cause of the anaphylaxis - an exaggerated allergic reaction.

The inquest heard that Georgia, who was nicknamed 'Duck' by her friends due to her love of the birds, had been diagnosed with eczema as a child.

She was also diagnosed with a peanut allergy in 2003 after a referral to a paediatric dermatologist.

It was, the inquest heard, advised that she carry an antihistamine at all times.

The inquest heard that during the last 18 months of her life there was a "documented" allergic reaction to a chocolate bar.

A narrative verdict assists a coroner in recording the circumstances of a death but stops short of attributing the cause to anyone or anything in particular.

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