Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Toddler, 2, dies while playing after his neck gets tangled in blind cord

A toddler tragically died after accidentally hanging himself from a cord of a window blind, an inquest has heard.

Cobie Grimshaw, described as a "boisterous boy", would jump on the family sofa like a trampoline.

But while excitedly playing, he became entangled and was found by his mum, Lauren just minutes later.

Despite desperate attempts to save him, Cobie suffered an irreversible brain injury following a lack of oxygen and sadly died three days later on April 7.

His mum, 26, who lived with her partner Tom in Looe, Cornwall, had been playing with Cobie – her only child – on the morning on his death, an inquest heard.

In a statement, Lauren said: "I went into the lounge and could see Cobie stood upright on the sofa near the centre window, I can't remember whether he was stood on the cushion or the back or the sofa, or if his feet were lifted.

"I remember thinking he looked asleep, as I got closer I could see the blind cord was around his neck."

In her statement Lauren added: "He was a bright, clever littler boy who was full of energy.

"That morning, Cobie woke Tom and I as he usually does by running form his bedroom to the door and shouting at his stair gate, 'morning momma'.

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"It was around 7am. I got up and took Cobie downstairs. I changed Cobie's nappy and he had breakfast, and we sat cuddled up on the sofa watching his favourite program.

"Then we were playing for a bit, then he was laying by himself while I was doing chores."

Lauren's mum, Teri, arrived at the house with a gift for the toddler after lunchtime.

When she went into the kitchen to make a round of hot drinks, Cobie was in the lounge with his grandmother.

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But Lauren noticed he was quiet and when she turned she couldn't see him, with him "only been gone for the time it took the kettle to boil".

While paramedics were on their way, Lauren went into the street and began shouting for help, alerting her neighbour Steven Humphries, a former St John's Ambulance volunteer, who took over first aid.

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An air ambulance arrived a short while later and took the toddler and his mum to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon, for treatment, before he was moved to a specialist hospital in Bristol.

A statement from Dr Elvin Schadenberg, from Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, was read out during the inquest.

Cobie died after suffering a cardiac arrest following strangulation at home, and his brain suffered irreversible brain damage due to oxygen starvation, he said.

Coroner Andrew Cox recorded the cause of death as global brain injury due to asphyxiation from hanging from a blind cord.

He told the family: "I record the conclusion of accidental death. This is a truly tragic set of circumstances.

"Al I can do is offer my condolences to the family of Cobie, I am desperately sorry that we have met in these circumstances."

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