An Irish family's pre-Christmas celebration turned to tragedy when their teenage daughter suffered a fatal allergic reaction to a peanut sauce she accidentally ate in a Dublin restaurant.
Emma Sloan, 14, died on a street in the city center on Wednesday night just minutes after being struck down by a severe allergic reaction.
Moments before her heartbroken mother had rushed to a nearby pharmacy to beg for a life-saving injection for her daughter.
But her mother, Caroline, says she was unable to save her daughter, because the pharmacy on O'Connell Street refused her request, as she didn't have a prescription.
Instead the distraught mother was told to bring her daughter to hospital, but tragically the pair only managed a few short steps before the teenager collapsed and died on a busy street.
In a heart-wrenching interview with the Irish Independent, distressed Mrs. Sloan said: "My daughter died on a street corner with a crowd around her. How could a peanut kill my child?"
The horrific chain of events unfolded after the family sat down to eat at Jimmy Chung's Chinese buffet on Dublin's Eden Quay when the teenager mistakenly opted for a sauce with nuts in it."
Shaken Mrs. Sloan, 40, recalled that Emma's reaction to the food was so severe she suddenly struggled to breathe properly.
She recalled: "Emma has always been very careful and would check the ingredients of every chocolate bar and other foods to be sure they didn't contain nuts.
"She had a satay sauce. She thought it was curry sauce because it looked like curry sauce and smelt like curry.
"I'm not blaming the restaurant because there was a sign saying 'nuts contained', but it wasn't noticed. After a while, Emma began to say, 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe'.
Tragically, the teenager didn't have her 'epinen' injection device on her person - forcing her mother to make a desperate rush to nearby Hamilton Long pharmacy on busy O'Connell Street.
But events took an even more cruel twist when her pleas for epinen were refused on the grounds that she didn't have a prescription.
Fighting back the tears, Mrs. Sloan recalled: "He told me I couldn't get a prescription. He told me to bring her to A&E.
"I left and I knew we'd have to run all the way to Temple Street hospital. But she only got as far as the corner with Abbey Street when she collapsed. She died on the footpath.
"A doctor was passing and had tried to help and put her into the recovery position. Ambulance and fire brigade men worked on her. But she was gone."
Mrs. Sloan is so heartbroken at the tragic death of her daughter she has since taken down her Christmas tree and vowed to "never celebrate Christmas again".
In her emotional interview she also appealed to parents of children with nut allergies to make sure their child always carries epinen with them.
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has since called for a probe to be launched into the teenager's death.
According to the Irish Independent, staff at Hamilton Long pharmacy have been advised by gardai not to make any public comment in relation to the incident.
But strict regulations prohibit the dispensing of epinen injections without a prescription.
A security guard, who witnessed the teenager's death, recalled: "I saw the girl lying on the ground. She was in the recovery position and there was something coming out of her mouth. Then people noticed she wasn't breathing. A woman was shouting, 'My daughter is dying'.
"The people saw the fire brigade at the traffic lights and they were shouting at them to hurry up. They came and began giving her CPR. I'm so sad that the girl died."
Tony Shek, owner of the restaurant, said: "We heard nothing about it. The staff are often asked by family members if foods contain nuts. But nothing was mentioned to any staff yesterday."
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