Gosport girl, 6, died after catching flu

Lilian 'Lily' Channon
Lilian 'Lily' Channon

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THE parents of a six-year-old girl who died after contracting the flu say there is nothing anybody could have done to prevent her death.

Lilian Channon, known as Lily, died suddenly in March last year after suffering from cold-like symptoms.

Yesterday, a coroner ruled at an inquest into her death that she died of natural causes.

As reported in The News, Lily, of Priory Road in Gosport, first showed signs of being unwell after coming home from a birthday party.

Her parents, Mark Channon and Kelly Mullett, looked after her for days but after they gave Lily a bath one night, she became unresponsive.

She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham but died on March 7.

Mum Kelly, 41, said: ‘She may be gone but she will never be forgotten.

‘The important thing for us now is to put this out there, because we don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else.

‘It’s a relief that the coroner ruled on the cause of it all, because if it was inconclusive or 
something, we would always be wondering.’

Lily’s school, Elson Infants in Gosport, has installed a water feature in her memory in the school grounds.

Kelly and Mark have also set up a memorial garden at the front of their house.

‘Even the binmen say “Hello Lily” when they come past,’ said Mark, 52.

‘Friends of hers put flowers there and toys and things like that.

‘When she went into hospital I was expecting her only to be in there for a short while. I never thought she would pass away.

‘The doctors and nurses worked so hard for her; we couldn’t have asked for better support from the NHS or the police.

‘It’s difficult to know what to suggest because most of the time when kids get cold symptoms it’s nothing to worry about. I would just say parents should keep a close eye on their children.’

Hampshire Constabulary looked into Lily’s death, as it does with all children who die in unexplained circumstances.

They found no suspicious circumstances.

The inquest, which was held at Portsmouth Guildhall yesterday, heard a post-mortem examination found evidence of the influenza A virus.

David Horsley, the coroner for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire said: ‘Quite clearly from the evidence. I’m 100 per cent satisfied this tragic death is due to natural causes.

‘There isn’t anything I can say other than how deeply sorry I am.’