Mum thanks Gosport school worker who saved girl’s life

(l-r) Katie Casey, daughter Natasha Casey and Tina Long, Leesland School Family Support Worker.
(l-r) Katie Casey, daughter Natasha Casey and Tina Long, Leesland School Family Support Worker.
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MUM Katie Casey has thanked a school worker for saving her daughter Natasha’s life.

The nine-year-old was struggling to breathe at Leesland Junior School in Gosport after suffering an extreme allergic reaction to fish fingers she had eaten.

Staff at the school recognised the symptoms and acted fast, with family support worker Tina Long giving her an injection of adrenaline.

Now teaching assistant Katie has heaped praise on the school.

‘I just want to say thanks to Tina. She went above and beyond the call of duty,’ she said. ‘In this situation it literally takes minutes. You become ill very quickly. It can result in death.

‘Every second counts. She could have died. But the school’s reaction was so quick.

‘The paramedics said that what the school did helped her make the right recovery.

‘Had they not done that we could have had a seriously-ill little girl – or she could have not been here.

‘I also want to say thanks to Jan Taylor at Grange Infants where I work.

‘She dropped everything and drove me straight over to Leesland when they called.’

Tina is the admin officer and family support worker at the school and gave the injection to Natasha as she is first-aid trained.

She said: ‘Natasha was brought in from the playground. She was aware she was having an attack.

‘I gave her some Piriton but it didn’t seem to be having an effect.

‘Her breathing was getting worse. So we gave her the epipen (adrenaline) and called the ambulance.

‘I was just doing my job. She needed it so I gave it to her. It’s no different with other children. I didn’t realise at the time just how serious it was.

‘When I think now that it was life-threatening then I realise how important it was.’

It is the third time Natasha has suffered anaphylactic shock, but it had been several years since it previously happened. When she was one, Natasha had a reaction to a Kinder egg and at seven, to curry and rice.

This time, it is thought she had a reaction to rice flour in the fish fingers she had for lunch. Natasha will have some tests to try and determine what she is allergic to, although the family believe it is related to rice.

Natasha, who took flowers in for Tina when she went back to school, said: ‘The only thing I remember is that I was rushed inside and the next minute the ambulance was here.

‘The school did brilliantly. Afterwards I was feeling better. I was happy and laughing. I want to say thank you for making me happy and trying not to make me feel scared and reacting in a quick way.’

Katie added: ‘They are such a lovely, caring group. They are on the ball all the time.

‘From the dinner ladies all the way up they are a really good team.’