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Varadkar promises law change for tragic Emma who died on O'Connell Street from allergic peanut reaction

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Mr Varadkar and Caroline Sloan

Mr Varadkar and Caroline Sloan

Mr Varadkar and Caroline Sloan

Health Minister Leo Varadker has told the mother of a teenager who died on O'Connell Street from a severe allergic reaction that he will make changes in the first half of 2015 in the hope that no other child dies from anaphylaxis.

Caroline Sloan, from Drimnagh, handed more than 110,000 petition signatures to Mr Varadker at his office yesterday, aided by her daughter Emma's school pals from Mourne Road school.

Her daughter Emma was just 14 when she died last December after a pharmacy refused to give her an EpiPen device without a prescription when she went into anaphylactic shock after mistakenly eating a peanut-based sauce at a nearby Chinese buffet.

"Leo was a gentleman, and asked all about Emma and her condition, as well as what happened at the pharmacy the day she died," Caroline said.

"He said he was committed to making changes, but that he wants to make sure he does it right. He agrees with me that education and information is a key factor is all of this," she told the Herald.

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Emma Sloan (14) who died after having an allergic reaction to a peanut sauce she had in a  restaurant

Emma Sloan (14) who died after having an allergic reaction to a peanut sauce she had in a restaurant

Emma Sloan (14) who died after having an allergic reaction to a peanut sauce she had in a restaurant

"I stressed to Leo that if I had known that Emma's condition could kill her I would have made sure that we had an EpiPen with us at all times," Caroline explained.

Consequences

"He agreed that there needed to be more information out there, and that leaflets and information packs might need to be changed to show that there are potential serious consequences to allergies," she added.

"And he even gave me a timeframe for change. And I believe him," said Caroline.

The mother-of-three said she is now exhausted after campaigning so hard for people to sign her Emma's Voice petition for changes that would see EpiPens "in every school, creche and restaurant in the country".

"It's hard to believe it is nearly a year since Emma died, and I have put so much time into the campaign that I don't know if I have grieved her loss properly yet," Caroline explained.

"It's gone from my hands to Leo's hands now, and I think he is the one who will do something."

hnews@herald.ie


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