Family's plea to parents after Ethan, 11, dies of suspected reaction to nuts
The heartbroken parents of an 11-year-old boy who died from a suspected allergic reaction to nuts have spoken about the tragedy to try to prevent others suffering the same fate.
Ethan Thomas was celebrating Father's Day with dad Rod and mum Judith with a takeaway meal at their Loughborough home in June when he was taken ill.
The family, who had been aware that Ethan had a nut allergy since he was six, had ordered his favourite takeaway curry – a dish they had ordered many times before from the same establishment.
Within minutes of taking a few mouthfuls, Ethan, who has a twin brother, Tré, became ill.
His mum called an ambulance and gave him an injection of adrenaline using the epiPen he carried as an emergency treatment for anaphylaxis – an extreme allergic reaction.
Ethan collapsed and although paramedics revived him, the youngster later died.
His parents said they were speaking out to make people more aware of the issue.
Judith, 41, a support worker with Leicestershire Police, said: "At the moment, we're going from day to day.
"Tré is back at school and we're back at work. We're trying to keep up a normal routine.
"Sundays are hard – it was the day Ethan got his biggest dinner and he loved his food. He wanted to be a chef like his uncle.
"He had a hilarious sense of humour. People loved him, he was so funny.
"We urge parents not to take chances. If they think their child may be allergic to nuts, get it checked.
"If you're eating in a restaurant, be persistent.
"Make them tell you what's in it, mark it down when they take the order and ask them to make sure knives which may have been used with nut products are cleaned."
Dad Rod, 42, a detective constable, said: "I do a lot of the shopping and checked all the labels for signs of food containing nuts or traces of nuts.
"We were warned that if Ethan came into contact with just a small amount of nuts, it could kill him.
"We always checked in restaurants, particularly abroad, whether the food contained any nuts.
"The meal we had on Father's Day was his favourite. We'd had it many times before.
"We're not blaming anyone for what happened, we just want to make people more aware.
"If children have epiPens, make sure they always carry them. It didn't help Ethan, but they do save lives, so carry it always."
Ethan, a first year pupil at Woodbrook Vale High School, in Loughborough, had just returned from his first school trip away without Tré who, when they were together, made sure Ethan did not eat anything which could harm him.
Rod is running a half-marathon in London this month in aid of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, a charity which raises awareness of severe allergies and supports people affected by them. It has helped the couple.
He has so far raised more than £2,000 in online donations.
Tré, helped by friends William Woodward and Lucy Isard, raised £519 with a cake sale.
Police colleagues, who completed a 170-mile bike ride between Morecambe Bay and Bridlington last month, collected about £500 for the charity in Ethan's memory and two of his aunts raised £700 in a "trekathon" around London.
To make a donation towards Rod's half-marathon, visit:
To find out about the Anaphylaxis Campaign, visit: