Asthma killed 16-year-old girl

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A TEENAGER who dreamed of becoming a forensic scientist died after suffering a sudden asthma attack aged just 16.

The death of Kenya Victoria Monck will now be used as a part of a national study to help prevent future asthma deaths.

Kenya collapsed at her family home in Hendon, Sunderland, on the night of February 3.

The teen was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital where she died six days later.

An inquest in the city’s Coroner’s court heard that the teenager, from Coxon Street, had returned home after being at a party.

Her distressed family called 999 after she collapsed.

But Kenya died despite the efforts of medical staff at the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Speaking after the hearing, mum Gayle, 49, said the former Southmoor School pupil was “the best daughter you could have” and wanted to be a forensic scientist.

Home Office pathologist Dr Jennifer Bolton told the inquest that Kenya had drunk some alcohol on the night she collapsed, but not enough to cause any problems.

Dr Bolton said: “She died because of damage to her brain, because her heart and brain had stopped and were not able to get enough oxygen back in to get the brain going.

“If her heart was the problem, her heart should have stopped first, but the paramedics said it was her breathing that stopped first.

“When she got to hospital they had problems getting air into her as she was very, very wheezy.”

The pathologist added that for a small number of people, asthma could be a killer.

Sunderland coroner Derek Winter recorded a verdict of natural causes and said Kenya died from brain injuries due to asthma.

Twitter: @janethejourno

The year-long National Review of Asthma Deaths is being run by the Royal College of Physicians.

It launched in February and will collect information from both medical professionals and families.

The first of its kind, researchers hope to establish patterns and risk factors that will help prevent asthma deaths in the future.

Asthma is one of the most common conditions in the UK, affecting around one in five households.

Three people die from asthma in the UK every day.