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Heartbroken mother reveals daughter's final words before she died
‘Mum, I’m panicking’ Heartbroken mother reveals her teenage daughter’s final words before she died of an asthma attack
- Lauren Reid went into cardiac arrest and tragically passed away aged 19
- Following her daughter’s death, her mother started Lauren’s Law campaign
A devastated mother has revealed her teenage daughter’s haunting final words before she died of an asthma attack.
Lauren Reid tragically passed away aged 19 on February 11 2020, after going into a cardiac arrest and being rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Three years on from her death, her mother Elaine Cunningham says that Lauren’s final words still affect her and that ‘words can’t explain’ how much she misses her youngest child.
The 19-year-old, who was a passionate chef and worked at Gin71 in Merchant City, Glasgow, did not have her inhaler with her and so had asked her mother to bring it to her at work.
However, the 47-year-old arrived too late and saw an ambulance was already there as Lauren went into cardiac arrest, which led to massive brain damage.
Photographed is Elaine Cunningham, the mother of Lauren Reid, a 19 year old chef who died of an asthma attack at her work in Glasgow in February 2020
Lauren Reid and her mother Elaine Cunningham. The teenagers mother made the heartbreaking decision to switch off her life support, just four days after the attack
She was then rushed to hospital, where she passed away later that week.
Her family say that they will never know why Lauren was without her inhaler, despite the fact that she carried it constantly, or what triggered the attack.
The teenagers heartbroken mother recalled her daughter’s final words before the phone cut off, as she says she is still trying to come to terms with what happened.
She said that she received a phone call around 9pm, with Lauren’s boss on the other end requesting that she bring her inhaler into the gin bar.
Ms Cunningham told Glasgow Live: ‘Someone called from her phone and I heard her shouting in the background “mum, I’m panicking” and the phone got hung up on me.
‘It’s horrible to think those were her last moments and there was nothing I could do for her.
‘Her heart had stopped for 35 minutes outside of work and her organs had all closed down by the time the ambulance arrived.’
Lauren’s manager tried to revive her with CPR, and when she was taken to hospital a pulse was found, but the teenager had suffered permanent brain damage due to the lack of oxygen.
At the hospital, the mother recalled a doctor telling her that her daughter suffered a ‘fatal’ asthma attack.
Upon questioning the medic what they meant, the mother-of-two said that ‘he looked at me with that pity look’ and at that moment, her ‘life ended then.’
Her mother made the heartbreaking decision to switch off her life support, just four days after the attack.
Following her daughter’s death, Ms Cunningham started Lauren’s Law campaign, as the family fight to ensure that what happened to Lauren does not happen to anyone else.
It calls on the emergency use of salbutamol inhalers in commercial food premises to be allowed – without a prescription.
READ MORE: Asthma sufferers denied £30,000 vital jab which could cut risk of attacks by 70% for 60,000 people – as GPs are baffled about who is eligible
Had there been the emergency kit, the family claim that Lauren could well be alive today.
This follows on from the act Human Medicines Act that was amended in 2014, which allows schools to keep emergency stocks of salbutamol inhalers without prescription.
Her mother also revealed that she wants to create Lauren’s Lodge, a caravan, which aims to house people that have suffered asthma attacks once they are discharged from hospital.
Ms Cunningham explained that she knows how ‘hard and difficult’ it is first hand going out of hospital and immediately back to helping the family.
Therefore, she hopes that the lodge will ‘help people’.
In describing her daughter, Ms Cunningham said that Lauren was ‘genuinely my best friend in the world. Words can’t explain how much I miss her and the hurt I feel inside.’
She added that she has made a memory bench for her in her back garden, which she regularly sits on with her dogs.
But adjusting to going from a house that was full of friends visiting Lauren to one of silence, the mother says has been the hardest part.
According to PSNC, the UK has one of the worst asthma death rates in Europe, with the rate of people dying from an asthma attack increasing by more than 20% in five years.
Restaurant kitchens are particularly risky for asthma sufferers because powders, flour, fumes, heat and humidity can all trigger attacks.
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