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Boy died waiting for ambulance

An autistic boy choked to death on a sweet while an ambulance failed to find his house on its computer system.

Kane Wade, 10, was playing in the garden at his home in Norris Green, north Liverpool, on June 26 last year when a gobstopper got stuck in his throat.

His mother Lindsey Wade, 38, and father Barry Ismail, 52, waited for almost 14 minutes for the ambulance to arrive because it could not find the road on the North West Ambulance Service's computer system.

Mr Ismail tried to save his son by performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. But by the time the emergency services arrived Kane's heart had stopped, as his sister Olivia, 13, looked on. According to official targets, Category A ambulance calls which deal with "life-threatening" situations should respond within eight minutes.

Ms Wade said: "I rang the ambulance at 6.38pm; the lady was giving me information to try and save him over the phone. She kept on telling me to look out the window but there was no one here. The ambulance didn't arrive until 6.52pm, more than 13 minutes later, and Kane was dead by then.

"They got his heart started, then they kept him outside the house and the ambulance didn't get him to Alder Hey hospital until 7.26pm. We got told in the early hours that there was no hope for him."

Kane's father said the family felt "anger". He said: "We want to know the truth, we want to know what happened that day. This is a brand new estate, what happened to us could happen to anyone, our Kane could have been anyone's child on that day. Something went wrong and we need the answers."

Fighting back tears, Ms Wade described her son as a "superman" who could not speak due to his autism but was loved by everyone who knew him. She said: "Our day began and ended with Kane, we just miss him. On the day of his funeral we got to the crematorium and we could not fit everyone in."

Local MP Stephen Twigg has written to the North West Ambulance Service to set up a face-to-face meeting with the family, and has highlighted the problem to health secretary Andrew Lansley. He said: "This is a tragic case and the family's big concern now is that this could happen to somebody else."

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: "The trust offers its sincere condolences to the family for their tragic loss. We have investigated this incident fully and shared the findings with representatives of the family. We will meet with them to talk through any further concerns, if requested." A spokesman for Liverpool Coroner's Office said an inquest into Kane's death by Coroner Andre Rebello on June 27 last year had recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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