The family of a British schoolboy who died after having an allergic reaction from eating a plate of spaghetti while on holiday have described his tragic death as the “worst day of their lives”.
Cameron Wahid, seven, went into severe anaphylactic shock from eating pasta made with milk at a restaurant in the town of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast, where he was spending half-term with his family.
Restaurant staff were warned about his severe allergies, which meant he couldn’t have any cheese or dairy products, but the waitress did not to understand their request and assured them his food was safe.
Cameron collapsed after eating the pasta dish in front of his mother Cassandra, 43, father Rizwan, 43, and little brother Aidan.
A few minutes after getting back on their tour bus with other British tourists, Cameron went into shock before suffering a cardiac arrest in the town’s main square.
Mrs Wahid, who works as a nurse, managed to give her son an EpiPen, but the schoolboy died three days later on October 30, 2015, in a hospital around 35 miles away in Naples.
After his death, the family went on to fight a long legal battle against the La Margherita Villa Giuseppina restaurant.
Ester Di Lascio, a waitress at the eatery, was found guilty of culpable manslaughter by an Italian court in Salerno in September 2019.
She did not properly highlight the possible allergic reactions caused by the ingredients in the dishes on the restaurant’s menu, the court found.
The pasta Cameron ate was served with a tomato sauce that had been prepared with milk by chef Luigi Cioffi, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
The family from East Grinstead in West Sussex were awarded £288,000 compensation by the court.
Cameron always had a severe allergy to dairy, but his family said they were very careful about what he ate and were assured by waiting staff the food was safe.
They added that his death was avoidable and they are still struggling to come to terms with losing their son.
Cameron’s parents are calling for lessons to be learned from his death and want to raise awareness of the seriousness of allergies.
Mr Wahid has started working as an ambassador with Allergy UK, the UK’s leading charity providing support to people with allergies.
He said this week: “Cameron’s allergy had always been severe, but we were so careful with him and scrupulous with what he ate.
“Prior to his allergic reaction, we were assured by the waiting staff that the food was safe for him.
“To see him going into anaphylactic shock and suffering like that was undoubtedly the worst experience of our lives.
“He was such a lovely little boy, and always brightened up our days.
“We feel his death was avoidable and we are still struggling to come to terms with him not being here anymore.
“We know nothing will bring him back, but we want to help stop others from suffering the pain we continue to feel.
“People need to know how serious allergies can be, and we will continue to work in raising much-needed awareness.
“We are grateful that the case is now at an end, and want to thank everyone for all the support we have had.
“For us, everything has been about using the criminal trial process in Italy to ensure that justice was obtained for Cameron, which we have done, as well as to establish facts and ensure lessons are learned so that others don’t have to suffer like we have.”
Daniel Matchett, the specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult for Cameron’s family, after having to see him die from an allergic reaction which could and should have been prevented.
“Cassandra and Riz were always very careful with controlling Cameron’s allergies, and losing him has had such a devastating impact on them.
“While they cannot turn back the clock and change what happened, Cassandra and Riz want to make people aware that allergies are potentially life-threatening to help ensure that no others go through what they have.”
The family received an undisclosed sum of money to help access specialist support.