Parents of severely disabled woman who choked to death on sweet ‘let down’ by Leeds council

Alison Evers, pictured on a trip to Spain. Below, with her mother, Elizabeth
Alison Evers, pictured on a trip to Spain. Below, with her mother, Elizabeth
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The parents of a severely disabled woman who died choking on a sweet at a Leeds care home said they felt “totally let down” by the council.

Alison Evers had a cardiac arrest after she was given the American hard gum sweet by a carer at the council-run Fulfilling Lives centre, Horsforth. The 34-year-old had Cri du Chat syndrome as well as scoliosis, and had trouble chewing. She was on a soft foods-only diet.

Following the conclusion of the five-day inquest into her death on Wednesday, Miss Evers’ parents, David and Jean, said: “We feel totally let down.

“Alison’s death was totally avoidable because the staff were all aware of her condition and the support she needed.

“We are looking for the council to learn lessons from this and to ensure more staff are trained in first aid.”

During the inquest care worker Tracey Gilboy admitted she “blamed” herself for giving Miss Evers the sweet, which she thought it was a jelly sweet.

Ms Gilboy, who is no longer employed, tried to give Miss Evers the Heimlich manoeuvre after she started choking on April 20, 2012.

Other staff also tried to intervene before an ambulance was called, but Miss Evers was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary.

Recording a narrative verdict, assistant coroner Jan Alam concluded that the death was contributed to by the negligence of Leeds City Council.

She said she would write a letter to the council calling for more staff to be trained in first aid.