Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the end it was too much’
Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the...

Amanda Cassidy

This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city living
This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city...

Megan Burns

You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress
You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress

Lauren Heskin

If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful Irish feature
If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful...

Meg Walker

Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’
Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’

Amanda Cassidy

4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity
4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity

Shayna Sappington

Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe
Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe

Sarah Finnan

Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea
Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea

Erin Lindsay

Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor
Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor

Sarah Finnan

The dos and don’ts of supporting someone who might be suicidal
The dos and don’ts of supporting someone who might be suicidal

Erin Lindsay

Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

Tragic nine-year-old’s death will not be in vain says heartbroken mother after landmark ruling


by Amanda Cassidy
19th Dec 2020
blank

Ella Kissi-Debrah is the first person in the world for whom air pollution is listed as her cause of death. Amanda Cassidy writes about why that matters


Ella was only 9 years old when she succumbed to an asthma attack which her mother felt was linked to the illegal levels of air pollution in London.

The little girl died in February 2013 following three years of seizures and 27 visits to the hospital for breathing problems. An inquest in 2014, which focused on the nine-year-old’s medical care, ruled she died of acute respiratory failure as a result of a severe asthma attack.

Tragedy

But her mother didn’t agree.

This week, after years of fighting for justice, Ella’s family made legal history when authorities finally recognised officially the role that air pollution played in this tragedy.

During the inquest into Ella’s death, a report was presented which found that air pollution levels near Ella’s home “consistently” exceeded lawful EU limits over the three years prior to her death.

The inquest this week ruled that air pollution was the cause of death in this case, the first time this cause of death has ever been listed in the UK and potentially world.

The coroner’s conclusion was that Ella “died of asthma contributed to by exposure to excessive air pollution.”

The assistant coroner said that her mother had not been given information about air pollution and asthma that could have led to her take steps which “might” have prevented her daughter’s death. The principal source of her exposure was traffic emissions.”

The reason’s behind Ella’s death matters for the wider community. It matters for the country and it matters in the global fight against air pollution.

Clean air is the foundation of health but all too often, children in towns and cities are exposed to unhealthy levels of pollution every day.

Legacy

“Here’s a lack of understanding about the damage it does to young lungs, especially that are not truly formed”

Rosamund, her mother, has proved herself as a strong voice in the clean air movent over the past 7 years becoming a WHO advocate for air quality.

After the ruling, she spoke out about how her daughter’s death will hopefully save more lives in the future.  “We’ve got the justice for her which she so deserved,” she said. “But it’s about other children still as we walk around our city of high levels of air pollution.”

Landmark

“Her legacy would be to bring in a new Clean Air Act and for governments — I’m not just talking about the UK government — governments around the world to take this matter seriously” she read outside the court.

“I still think there’s a lack of understanding about the damage it does to young lungs, especially that are not truly formed. As a consequence of this new inquest ruling, the previous one has now been quashed – the one which concluded that Ella has died of acute respiratory failure.

The London Mayor described the ruling as a “landmark moment” and paid tribute to Ella’s mother for her “extraordinary courage”

He said, “This must be a turning point so that other families do not have to suffer the same heartbreak as Ella’s family”

Image via Getty 

Also Read

Delta variant
IMAGE WRITES
Delta variant: ‘There’s no need to make it a scary narrative’

The Covid Delta variant will be on the agenda as NPHET meets to consider its advice to Government on whether...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
BREAKING STORIES
#FreeBritney: Britney Spears’ father stepping down from conservatorship

By Jennifer McShane

Andrew McGinley
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’

His wife was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of their three children; Conor (9), Darragh...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
BREAKING STORIES, CULTURE
A reminder of the harrowing details of Britney Spears’ conservatorship

Britney Spears’ father said in a court filing Friday that there are “no grounds whatsoever” for removing him from the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
PARENTHOOD
‘I tried to parent so everything looked so perfect on the outside. It almost broke me’

Superwoman, performer of impossible feats, selfless soother…don’t forget smile! The current ideal of motherhood is chronically unhelpful to most of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Nadia’s mother arrived on O’Connell Street in 1994 with Nadia in tow. She was just “four or five” years old.
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES
Nadia Adan’s incredible story is the stuff of film scripts

Nadia Adan sees value in everything. In fact, it’s her job; selling high-end cars and antiques, the pioneering 31-year-old is...

By Kate Demolder

wedding guest list
ADVICE, RELATIONSHIPS, WEDDINGS
Plus None: has Covid redefined the traditional wedding guest list?

How would you feel if you opened up the invitation to a good friends’ wedding, only to realise that your partner, your significant other, had been deliberately left off?

By IMAGE