Inquest told of youngster's tragic death

A FREAK set of complications arising from an apparently routine throat infection killed a nine-year-old boy, an inquest heard.Kareem Carmichael, a pupil at St Louis Primary School, Newmarket was rushed to hospital in the early hours of February 28 this year, after his mother found him unconscious in the bathroom at the family home.

A FREAK set of complications arising from an apparently routine throat infection killed a nine-year-old boy, an inquest heard.

Kareem Carmichael, a pupil at St Louis Primary School, Newmarket was rushed to hospital in the early hours of February 28 this year, after his mother found him unconscious in the bathroom at the family home.

Paramedics were unable to revive Kareem, who was pronounced dead at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Only a few days earlier he had been released from the same hospital, where he had been treated for tonsilitis after experiencing breathing difficulties.


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An inquest held in Cambridge yesterday was told how Kareem developed a relatively common infection known as Epstein-Barr Virus, along with a further infection resistant to antibiotics and consequently a blood infection and pneumonia.

An expert later explained to the EADT that it was an incredibly rare set of circumstances, which no-one could have foreseen.

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Speaking after the inquest, his grieving parents Dexter and Andrea spoke of their pain and how they had been helped through the horror of their son's death.

Mrs Carmichael said: “Our darling, sweet nine-year-old should not have died, parents need to be aware that children can die because of complications to childhood illnesses.

“Our lives will never be the same, nobody else has to lose their child in this way.”

Her husband Dexter, a technical sergeant at RAF Mildenhall, added: “We would like to thank the town of Newmarket for their support during our terrible time, especially Waitrose and also St Louis Primary School and everyone at the 727th Air Mobility Squadron at RAF Mildenhall.”

Ken McDonald, manager of the Newmarket branch of Waitrose, said staff at the store had gotten to know Kareem and has family, as they were regular customers.

He said they had been deeply saddened by Kareem's death and were moved by the family's plight to hold a collection to help ease their burden.

St Louis head teacher Wendy Lashmar described Kareem as a “generous, patient and loving boy” and the whole school community had been devastated by his death.

She added: “He had an empathy for others and depth of thinking well beyond his years.”

Coroner David Morris recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

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