A devastated mother has issued an urgent warning to parents after her five-year-old son died when a helium balloon wrapped around his neck.
Karlton Noah Donaghey tragically died after the inflatable boat got stuck over his head at his family home in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
His heartbroken mother Lisa Donaghey, 43, found him trapped in the dinosaur-shaped balloon after trying to climb inside on June 23.
The youth was resuscitated at the scene before being flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Karlton spent six days in intensive care before his ventilator was unfortunately turned off on June 29 at The Great North Children’s Hospital.
Mom-of-four Lisa is now desperate to warn parents about the dangers of helium balloons after losing her youngest son.
Karlton’s cause of death is believed to be ingestion of the gas, but this has yet to be confirmed by a coroner.
Lisa told ChronicleLive: “It’s a poison that can take a life in a matter of seconds. It’s very dangerous.
“It cost my son his life, he just wanted to be a dinosaur in a playful way. It can cost a child’s life and it can cost an adult’s life.
“I want parents, grandparents, childminders, adults, students and anyone who has come into contact with helium to be careful about how they use and dispose of it.
“A precious five year old was taken too soon and I would never put that pain on anyone.”
She shared how before the tragedy she was enjoying the warm weather in the garden with her children Kaitlin, 25, Joe, 20, Will, 15, and Karlton.
The 43-year-old had gone to check on Karlton after going inside to use the toilet before finding him unconscious.
She recalled: “When I walked in he was on the floor with the balloon over his head and neck.
“It was a dinosaur balloon the same size as him.
“I think he got in the balloon to be a dinosaur to go outside and surprise his nieces. I pulled the balloon off him and screamed.
“I think I carried him to the patio door. As a mother, I knew he was gone, he wasn’t responding.
“He had his eyes wide open and he was pale.”
It cost my son his life, he just wanted to be a dinosaur in a playful way. It can cost a child’s life and it can cost an adult’s life.
The mother had bought the five-year-old’s big green balloon with his father Karl Donaghey, 35, six days earlier as a treat after visiting The Hoppings carnival.
In a cruel twist of fate, it was Karlton’s first time at the attraction and he’d enjoyed a day of fun on the rides.
Lisa continued, “He was really well behaved and he didn’t ask for anything, he was never ungrateful.
“He had really good manners, so he got a treat. He loved dinosaurs – ‘dinosaur roar’ was probably one of his first words.”
She recounted how her daughter Kaitlin and family neighbor Amiee Morrison desperately tried to revive Karlton until medics arrived.
The mother said, “I just collapsed on the grass outside. I must have screamed and screamed and screamed.
“I couldn’t bear to come back in. My little boy was being worked on. I was stunned with fear and terror.
“It took the ambulance four minutes to arrive, but it felt like four hours.”
Upon arriving at the hospital, Lisa received the devastating news from a counselor that her son was “in really bad shape”.
She said: “I just fell on the floor, I couldn’t get up. I cried, ‘My little boy, my little boy’. It was just awful.”
Karlton began suffering from seizures in intensive care before doctors told loved ones there was nothing they could do to save him.
Lisa sobbed: “He tried to keep fighting but I knew he was fighting with a little bit of energy, it was taking everything out of him.
“I told him, ‘Stop being brave, go to sleep. I can do without you and I can make you proud.’
“I told him, ‘Just close your eyes and rest’ and ‘Don’t worry about Mom.’ I promised my little boy it wouldn’t break me.
“I knew as a mother I wasn’t going to bring him home. I’m just grateful to have spent the six days with him.”
In a touching tribute to a beloved son, Lisa bought a dachshund puppy he asked for before his untimely death.
She aptly named him Fudge, after the giraffe mascot at Great North Children’s Hospital.
Lisa said: “He’s brought a wonderful comfort to all of us, he’s helping me with that. He’s dead mischievous but lovable.
“Karlton was exactly the same, he was such a loving kid. Karlton had a caring nature and he was always thinking of others.
“He was my little best friend and my little mate, we did everything together from morning to night.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5745606/urgent-warning-parents-helium-balloons-boy-died/ Urgent warning to parents over helium balloons after 5-year-old boy died when dinghy was ‘wrapped around his neck’