Limerick toddler died from ‘viral infection’

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Limerick Courthouse
AN INQUEST this week has heard that a “healthy” two-year-old boy died in the city centre, as a result of a viral infection that caused an inflammation in the throat.

AN INQUEST this week has heard that a “healthy” two-year-old boy died in the city centre, as a result of a viral infection that caused an inflammation in the throat.

Toddler Robert Kelly died at an apartment on Parnell Street on Saturday, January 10, after he was found unresponsive when his uncle Damien Kelly attempted to wake him up after a nap.

Robert was in the care of his uncle at the time, while his father, also Robert Kelly, was away from the apartment.

The inquest was told that Damien Kelly managed to access a telephone, in order to call Robert’s father at a takeaway near the apartment, after several attempts to raise the alarm.

“I was roaring at people out the window for people to help,” Damien Kelly’s deposition stated.

At the Limerick Circuit Courthouse, coroner Dr John McNamara was told that the ambulance services and gardaí were alerted of the incident, and arrived at the scene at 4.40pm. Young Robert Kelly was pronounced dead at 5.12pm, the inquest heard.

Giving medical evidence at the inquest, pathologist Dr Peter Kelehan said that Robert showed no bone injuries on both the X-ray and CAT scan, and that the post-mortem examination showed that the toddler was “well-nourished”.

He added that there were no abnormalities in the head, skull or neck, and that there were also no abnormalities on the two-year-old’s limbs or lungs.

Medical evidence stated that there were haemorrhages found on the surface of the heart, and that there was “severe inflammation” around the epiglottis, and abnormalities seen in the tissues at the back of the neck.

Dr McNamara concluded the inquest, that there was “no foul play” involved in the two-year-old’s death, and that Robert Kelly was a “healthy baby and healthy child” who had picked up a viral infection.

He stated that the toddler died as a result of “acute epiglottitis” and of natural causes.

Dr Peter Kelehan said that it is rare for children to die as a result of the illness because of increased access to the relevant vaccines. However, he could not say how the child came into contact with the viral infection.

Sympathies were expressed to the family on behalf of the gardaí and the coroner.

At the end of the inquest, the family expressed their gratitude to the emergency services.