A severely asthmatic boy died during a fatal attack only a month after his mother warned housing officials their “mouldy and damp” home was affecting his condition.
Eight-year-old Aaron Dearden, a lodge leader at his beavers group, suffered such chronic asthma that an attack could be simply triggered by him laughing.
Due to his condition, his mother Rachel Turner, aged 31, had been fighting to get her family moved from their home in Poplar Grove, Ramsbottom, after complaints their rented housing association property had damp and mould throughout the house, including the children's bedroom.
The mother-of-three believed it was contributing to her son’s asthma attacks and she also contacted her local MP in a bid to get her family out of the house.
But Six Town Housing carried out an inspection — three days before Aaron’s death — which stated the property was in good condition.
An inquest held in Heywood heard how, the night before his death, the Peel Brow Primary pupil had watched television and played games. He had been in a “really good mood” after being given a gold star from his school on Friday for being the only one to get 10 out of 10 for his timestables.
But tragedy struck when Aaron ran into his mum’s bedroom whilst clutching his inhaler and shouting that he could not breathe.
He collapsed and started turning blue and Miss Turner tried to revive him whilst elder brother Charlie, then aged 10, called an ambulance and ran to a neighbour's house for help.
On the way to hospital, Aaron told Miss Turner: “Mum don’t let me die”, but despite medics' efforts he died later in Fairfield Hospital.
Shortly after the tragedy, the family were subsequently moved to a three-bedroom property.
A verdict of death by natural causes was recorded at the conclusion of the inquest.
Coroner Simon Nelson said: “There is no doubt at all that Aaron was quite inspirational.
“He managed to overcome the difficulties he had in his own life. He is an example to all those who had the privilege of knowing him.
“But there's absolutely no evidence to suggest any third-party involvement.”
Mr Nelson said there was no evidence to confirm any pathologic connection between any external factors and in particular the damp and mould which the family understandably had concerns about.
Miss Turner, who has taken legal advice, said: “It was only after Aaron's funeral I was offered a new house — why didn’t that happen sooner? If it had, my boy could still be alive today. We will never know.”
After the case Six Town Housing said its officials carried out the inspection on April 25 before Aaron died, and the independent inspector on May 3, after his death.
A spokesman said: “It is an absolute tragedy that Aaron Dearden died from an asthma attack and we offer our heartfelt sympathies to his parents, family and friends.
“Ms Turner previously lived in the property from 2004 and first complained about damp in March, 2013.
“An inspector from Six Town Housing and a second independent inspector visited the property separately last year and found the property to be in good condition.”