All she needed was an epi-pen but the Chemist refused to give it to her.

Emma Sloan and her mum, Caroline

Under her Christmas tree sit presents waiting to be given to her family and friends.

A pair of slippers wrapped for her grandma.

A brightly wrapped gift for her baby sister.

She didn’t yet know that her Mum had bought her two tickets for the X Factor tour. It would have been the best present of her life.

She was just 14 years old.

And now she is dead.

On Wednesday night, one week out from Christmas, Emma Sloan, her Mum and her sisters had gone for dinner in the city centre in Dublin to have dinner.

Her sisters Amy aged 20, and her baby sister Mia who is 2 sat alongside her.

It had been a big day of Christmas shopping in Dublin’s crowded city centre.

The festive lights which people travel for hours to see twinkled outside, Christmas music played, their coats lay piled in a heap nearby.

The family ordered, and ate, not noticing the sign that said the food contained nuts.

Emma ate satay sauce, which contained peanuts, but her Mum said they had thought it was curry sauce.

‘It looked and smelled like curry sauce,’ she said to the Irish Herald.

‘I’m not blaming the restaurant because there was a sign but it wasn’t noticed.

The 14 year old had a peanut allergy

For Emma the impact of the nuts would have been instantaneous.

Emma had a nut allergy and eating them could be fatal.

Seconds later she couldn’t breathe.

Her Mum ran frantically to the nearby chemist with her daughters helping their sister.


Ready to do anything to save her daughters life.

But the chemist said no.

They told her she needed a prescription and sent her on her way.

All her Mum, Caroline needed was an epi-pen.

With her fourteen-year-old daughter dying Caroline was told to take her to the nearest hospital.

“It was against regulations,” the male worker said, to give the dying teen the epi-pen she so desperately needed.

Emma and her mother usually carry the auto-injector, but had left it at home on Wednesday when they went shopping in town. A passing doctor tried to assist placing Emma into the recovery position but the rescue attempt was unsuccessful.

Before her eyes, just metres from the chemist Emma died.

Ambulance staff and firefighters also tried to aid in the recovery but Emma was not responsive.

The teenager died with her two sisters, one just a toddler, looking on.

Emma’s funeral took place over the weekend

Emma’s Mum told the Irish Herald: “My daughter died on a street corner with a crowd around her.”


“I’m so angry I was not given the Epi-Pen to inject her.

A Police sudden death inquiry is under way — which is standard procedure.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland is also carrying out an inquiry — but so far it has declined to comment on the refusal to prescribe the auto-injector despite the emergency.

Under the society’s regulations, pharmacists can dispense medicine in emergencies but many are uncertain to do so.

The adrenaline in the auto-injector could have potentially fatal effects on some people.

Dublin is a world away from Australia this Christmas time, but this situation could just have happened of the streets of any Australian city.

Australian children have the highest recorded rate of food allergies in the world.

Peanut allergies are often diagnosed in children who are less than two years old.

Currently in Australia, one in 10 have a food allergy. Anaphylaxis hospital admissions in Australia more than doubled between 1995 and 2005.

In 2011 a sixteen-year-old boy, Raymond Cho died after eating a walnut biscuit at school in Sydney.

Raymond Cho died in 2011

Just a few years earlier a thirteen-year-old boy died on a school camp in Melbourne after eating a beef satay ration pack.

Health experts say that an allergy to peanuts is the most severe of all food allergies, with the symptoms of a reaction triggered by a tiny trace of peanut protein.

Peanuts provide a cheap source of dietary protein and so they are commonly used in a wide range of products.

Currently there exists no treatment for the allergy and sufferers with a severe form are forced to avoid nuts altogether.

Health authorities advise that for children under the age of three, whose parents have a history of allergies they should also avoid peanuts.

As with other allergies, a peanut allergy is caused by an over-reaction of the body’s immune system to the protein.

When a sufferer is struck by a reaction they typically develop a rash on the face or body.

Sneezing, coughing and choking, wheezing and having trouble breathing are also symptoms.

Severe reactions are known as anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis can be fatal if it is not treated.

Caroline Sloan – who’s daughter’s funeral was front page of all the Irish newspapers across the weekend –  begged parents to always carry their epi-pen, so no one has to go through what Emma did.

More information

Anaphylaxis Australia

Allergy info

NSW Food Authority

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