Could £45 Epi-Pen have saved Megan?
THE parents of a schoolgirl who died following an allergic reaction to a takeaway have revealed the failings that led to her death.
Megan Lee tragically died on New Year’s Day 2016, after she had an asthma attack and went into anaphylactic shock having eaten a takeaway.
The 15-year-old ordered an Indian meal from the Royal Spice Takeaway in her home town via delivery firm Just Eat and warned staff of her allergy to nuts.
A investigation found Megan’s meal, which included an onion bhaji, a seekh kebab and Peshwari naan, had ‘widespread presence’ of peanut protein.
Two takeaway bosses have since been jailed for the manslaughter of Megan, but her parents Gemma, 35, and Adam, 37, have many unanswered questions.
The devastated couple, who have a nine-year-old son Owen, say that a catalogue of failures led to their daughter’s death, believing Megan was wrongly diagnosed with having “mild” allergies.
The teenager from Oswaldtwistle was never issued with an EpiPen, which might have saved her life.
Gemma said: “We’ve learned that teenage girls are more at risk of anaphylaxis because their bodies are changing.
“Megan should have had an EpiPen. If she’d had one, would things have turned out differently? We have no way of knowing but we’ve asked ourselves many times.”
They are now calling for annual medical reviews for all allergy suffers and for more people to be issued with the medical device - which costs just £45.
Adam added: “No allergy should ever be described as ‘mild’ because allergies are so unpredictable.
“Since Megan’s death, we have had information which shows she should have been categorised as high risk. Why weren’t her allergies reviewed every year?”
In October 2018, a jury at Manchester Crown Court found Royal Spice takeaway owner Mohammed Abdul Kuddus, 40, and manager Harun Rashid, 38, guilty of unlawfully killing Megan by reason of gross negligence.
Both were handed jail sentences earlier this month.
Guest relations manager Gemma said: “I don’t feel hatred towards them but it might have helped if they’d pleaded guilty. I wish they’d just said, ‘We’ve caused a death and we’re devastated’.
“They had a complete lack of respect for us. But if I thought meeting them and telling them how hard our lives are without Megan would have an impact, I’d probably do it.”
Megan’s parents described her as a model pupil who had a love for musical theatre and dreamed of being a West End actress.
She was just eight when she was diagnosed with a nut allergy and always took extra care when choosing food and never ordered anything containing any traces of nuts.
Also speaking of the toll Megan’s death has had on the family, Gemma said: “There were times I thought it might break us but Megan made us fight for our relationship.
“She’d never wanted us to split.”
Now, Gemma and Adam are committed to preventing more allergyrelated deaths.
Gemma said: “The lessons that can be learned are important. Megan would want us to help others and stop this from happening to someone else.” have
Gemma and Adam Lee, the parents of Megan Lee (inset) who died from an allergic reaction to a takeaway meal