Rel­a­tives of sev­en-year-old Shaz­ard Mo­hammed who choked to death on a pholourie be­lieves he would have sur­vived had the am­bu­lance re­spond­ed swift­ly. “They was too slow.

They move to slow for my child. The am­bu­lance was too slow, to know right, there to right. They could have saved my child life,” lament­ed the child’s fa­ther Sher­iff Mo­hammed.

Speak­ing at their Pla­tan­ite Trace, Rochard Road, Pe­nal home yes­ter­day he com­plained that the am­bu­lance took about an hour to ar­rive.

He said,“I had time to leave Corinth (Ste Madeleine) and reach down Siparia (health cen­tre) and my child did not come yet. When I take up my child from the am­bu­lance he was dead,”

Shaz­ard’s moth­er Sher­if­fa Shyam tried her best to save his life. She was too dis­traught to speak to the me­dia yes­ter­day.

Shyam col­lect­ed Shaz­ard, a Stan­dard One stu­dent, and his nine-year-old sis­ter from their school, Clarke Rochard Gov­ern­ment Pri­ma­ry, in Pe­nal, just af­ter 3 pm on Mon­day.

She bought pholourie for the chil­dren from a ven­dor whom they were ac­cus­tom buy­ing from just in front of the school.

Shyam’s moth­er Jen­nifer Shyam said, “She break it (pholourie) and give the child to eat. The child start­ed to choke and she start­ed to knock the child back and by knock­ing the child back it did not come out so she push her fin­ger to take it out.” But, the child’s jaw locked. “She had to squeeze his mouth and get her fin­ger out and a piece of pholourie (came) out,” said the grand­moth­er.

With the as­sis­tance of oth­er peo­ple, the moth­er tried to per­form CPR on him.

The grand­moth­er said his lips be­gan turn­ing blue and froth be­gan seep­ing from his nose. The grand­moth­er said the am­bu­lance took too long to ar­rive. “If they reach ear­ly the child could ah still be alive.” She said Shaz­ard was healthy, had no al­ler­gies and was ac­cus­tomed to eat­ing pholourie.

Mo­hammed, a heavy equip­ment op­er­a­tor, said his son want­ed to fol­low in his foot­step and pur­sue a ca­reer as an op­er­a­tor and a dri­ver.

“It re­al hard, it sor­row­ful, it sad. I don’t know which part to turn again to know that a bril­liant child like that just leave and gone. A lit­tle piece of pholourie some­body could have saved the child life,” he said.

Still in dis­be­lief over his son’s sud­den pass­ing, he said, “It eh nat­ur­al boy be­cause every­body was eat­ing pholourie there.”

The grand­moth­er said the doc­tors pro­nounced her grand­son dead 13 min­utes af­ter the am­bu­lance brought him to the health cen­tre.

She de­scribed Shaz­ard as a hap­py child who loved to dance. An au­top­sy per­formed at the San Fer­nan­do mor­tu­ary found that he did die from as­phyx­i­a­tion due to up­per air­way ob­struc­tion. It al­so con­firmed that the moth­er was able to ex­tract the pholourie from his air­way.

Fu­ner­al arrange­ments were still be­ing de­cid­ed on yes­ter­day.

What is the Heim­lich ma­neu­ver?

Each year, many peo­ple die from chok­ing on ob­jects that ob­struct their air­ways and cause suf­fo­ca­tion. Chok­ing is in fact the fourth lead­ing cause of un­in­ten­tion­al death. How­ev­er, there is a sim­ple tech­nique you can use to help ex­pel a trapped ob­ject from an­oth­er per­son’s air­way. You can even use a ver­sion of this tech­nique on your­self.

The tech­nique is called the Heim­lich ma­neu­ver, or ab­dom­i­nal thrusts

First, if there’s a by­stander, have them call 911 (or your lo­cal emer­gency phone num­ber) for emer­gency help. If you’re the on­ly per­son present, be­gin first aid treat­ment:

1. Get the per­son to stand up.

2. Po­si­tion your­self be­hind the per­son.

3. Lean the per­son for­ward and give five blows to their back with the heel of your hand.

4. Place your arms around their waist.

5. Make a fist and place it just above the navel, thumb side in.

6. Grab the fist with your oth­er hand and push it in­ward and up­ward at the same time. Per­form five of these ab­dom­i­nal thrusts.

7. Re­peat un­til the ob­ject is ex­pelled and the per­son can breathe or cough on their own.

Reporter: Sascha Wilson