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7 year old chokes to death from super ball

August 27, 2011

A seven-year-old girl choked to death when a small rubber ball bounced from the floor into her mouth in a freak accident.

The little girl had been playing with the ball bought by her mother when the ‘chance in a million’ tragedy happened at the family home.

Despite desperate attempts by Kiran Mir’s parents to dislodge the ball, it was stuck in her throat, blocking her airway.

Her devastated father, Shahid Mir, told how he and his wife thumped her on the back and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre in a bid to dislodge the ball, but it wouldn’t move.

Kiran was rushed to hospital but died two days later. An inquest ruled that Kiran died as a result of a tragic accident.Birmingham Corner Aidan Cotter said: ‘Anyone who has children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces knows that something like this can happen.’I cannot believe there is not a single parent who has not had to fish something out of a child’s mouth. It was a completely freak accident.’

Speaking at the family’s home in Saltley, Birmingham, Mr Mir said his daughter’s death had ‘killed all my happiness’.He said he, his wife Shakeela Bibi, aged 34, and their son Faris, aged ten, and daughters Danya, nine, and Laiba, three, had all been left devastated by the death.

Mr Mir, aged 45, who works as a manager at voluntary organisation East Birmingham Community Forum, said he was at work when the tragedy happened on March 1 this year.

In a statement read out to the inquest, Mrs Bibi said the day before she had bought two small rubber balls for Kiran and one for her other children, paying 20p each for them.

She said the following day she had collected her children from school, taken them back home and was changing their clothes.

Mrs Bibi said: ‘She was bouncing the ball between her hand and the floor. I suddenly heard Kiran cough and immediately looked towards her.’She said her daughter continued to cough and that she suspected Kiran may have swallowed the ball.

She added: ‘I immediately approached her and used one hand to smack her gently two or three times between her shoulder blades hoping for the ball to pop out.’However, she said, Kiran’s lips started to turn blue and she could see she was having difficulty breathing.

Mrs Bibi said she took her daughter to the bathroom and that Kiran had tried to vomit. She then took her back in the living room and made further attempts to get the ball out, but realised that matters had gone beyond her control and phoned her husband.

Speaking at their home, Mr Mir said he told his colleague to call for an ambulance while he rushed home.He said: ‘Me and my wife carried on trying to dislodge the ball by hitting her on the back of the throat and also putting our arms around her chest and back and pulling upwards.

‘By now the ambulance came and they took over. In the ambulance Kiran had a cardiac arrest but the paramedics managed to get her heart started again.
‘When she got to Heartlands her heart had been stopped for 29 minutes and they told us she had suffered brain damage so was transferred to another hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. It’s just terrible, terrible. It’s killed all my happiness.’

Mr Mir said his daughter was in intensive care overnight but the following day doctors said the brain damage was so severe she would never recover.He added: ‘Then we had to make the difficult decision to turn off the life support machine.’I was really reluctant to do so but they said that way she could pass away in a dignified way.’

‘She was always very cheerful, a really happy and loving little girl. We miss her every day – especially her sister who was also her friend and they were always playing together.’

He said Kiran was also a popular motivated pupil at school and all the teachers and fellow pupils had been left devastated. At the inquest Mr Cotter recorded a verdict that Kiran had died as a result of an accident.He said: ‘I do not want people to think Kiran deliberately put it in her mouth. I am satisfied this was an unhappy chance in a million where the ball just bounced straight into her mouth.

‘It is quite clear from the evidence that Kiran was being well supervised at the time. This happened while her mother and her other children were in the same room. It happened in a moment.’As soon as it happened her mother did everything that one could hope that they could do. It was simply too far down for anybody to do anything.

‘There are occasions when coroners can make useful recommendations to try and prevent similar accidents in the future but I do not feel that this is one of those occasions.’

Mr Mir said a memorial bench had been put in the gardens of Shaw Hill Primary School in Alum Rock, where his daughter was a pupil.

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