Little Harry Cuming had survived at least four life-threatening attacks before asthma finally claimed him at the tender age of 10.
Yet his parents Dwayne and Vicky believe he might still be alive today had “ignorance” of the condition not affected the care he received.
Two years after his death the couple, who have raised more than £40,000 for asthma research, are seeking legal advice over what they believe was a failure of the health service to treat him properly.
“Harry was a perfect little boy and he didn’t deserve to die,” said dad Dwayne after an inquest in Preston yesterday recorded a “natural causes” verdict.
“Because of his condition he was a child who cared for everyone. He looked after everyone because he understood that life was precious. Children are still dying. There is still ignorance and there shouldn’t be any more.”
After a two-day inquest Preston’s deputy coroner Simon Jones ruled Harry had died from an acute asthma attack as a result of an anaphylactic reaction. Although the boy also suffered from a serious peanut allergy, a pathologist found no trace of peanuts in any of the food he had eaten that day.
The inquest heard of the frantic efforts of dad Dwayne to save him after he collapsed at home as the family prepared for a Saturday evening watching DVDs.
The coroner was also told an ambulance trying to reach the emergency in St James Gardens, Leyland was delayed because of a faulty satnav system. But that was not a factor in his death as another paramedic was already at the scene.
Mr Cuming had told the inquest that on an earlier admission to hospital only days before his son’s death he had tried to tell doctors that he and his wife were “concerned” about Harry’s treatment.
“I wanted to make sure the doctors understood what my worries were,” he said. “It (the treatment) clearly wasn’t working and more aggressive treatment was required. I asked the doctors for the treatment to be reviewed, I asked them several times. I also asked them to keep him in hospital, but he was discharged.
“I can’t help but feel that our concerns were just dismissed.”
Coroner Mr Jones told the couple: “No-one should have to go through what you went through that evening. There is nothing that I can say that is going to offer any comfort to the family.”
Speaking after the hearing in the presence of the family solicitor, Mr Cuming said: “The verdict was what we had expected under the circumstances and within the coroner’s remit. But the inquest has opened up more concerns and brought more evidence to light that we feel we need to look at further.
“We were of the belief that Harry was having the very best care at Preston. We assumed he was under an asthma specialist. But it transpired the doctor was not a specialist, just someone who had an interest in the illness - and we can’t see how the Trust could allow that to happen.
“The evidence proves we still have a mountain of questions and we need to sit down and start going through them. What is clear is that every asthma sufferer has an allergy and the two things should go hand in hand. They clearly don’t understand asthma and this case has to raise that now at a medical level.
“We have raised over £40,000 for Asthma UK and we will continue to do so for the rest of our lives in the hope someone will start to take notice and no-one will have to go through what we have gone through.”