Boy, 4, dies after getting head stuck in homemade stairgate

A four year old boy has died after getting his head stuck in a homemade stairgate in a tragic accident.

An inquest at Norfolk coroner's court heard yesterday (25 January) that Draco Chapman suffered "catastrophic injuries" when he lodged his head in the structure at the family home in Norfolk on April 2, 2019.

Draco had tried to climb through a six inch gap between two gates placed at the top and bottom of a doorway, which had been put there to stop them getting out of the living room and onto the stairs.

The 4 year old was found by his teenage brother responsible for looking after him while the parents were out, who called 999.

He was rushed to Norwich and Norfolk Hospital and placed in an induced coma before he was transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

The boy was then taken for end-of-life care at a hospice, where he died 19 days after the tragic accident.

A heartbreaking statement from mum Ms Chapman recalled how she returned home to her son trying desperately to save Draco's life.

It read: "I returned home and expected it to be normal. My oldest child was on the phone to the ambulance screaming that he (Draco) had stopped breathing. I went upstairs to do CPR and the ambulance staff arrived and took over."

She added: "I was pregnant and agreed with the health visitor that I needed help and she made a referral to social services.

"I struggled but knew I needed help. My oldest would help with the children but I had to accept it had got out of hand.

"On April 2, I fitted the second stairgate to stop them (the children) from getting out of the lounge and on to the stairs. I thought it would act as a door and keep them safe in the lounge.

"The bottom one didn't work as Draco used to climb over it."

Clinical director of paediatric intensive care at Addenbrooke's Dr Roddy O'Donnell revealed that Draco died after a neurotic asphyxiation from accidental hanging, as well as a cardiac respiratory arrest.

He said: "It was clear he had suffered serious and irreversible neurological injury."

The inquest also heard that before the incident he had been diagnosed a heart murmur and Noonan syndrome, which can lead to heart defects.

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