A BOY, 16, collapsed and then died just hours after celebrating the end of his GCSE exams with friends in a park – after having an allergic reaction to pollen.
Joe Dale, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was enjoying his final hours with friends at the park on June 17, 2017 – just a day after his last exam.
SWNS:South West News Service Joe Dale, 16, passed away in June 2017 after an asthma attack
SWNS:South West News Service He was celebrating finishing his GCSE exams
SWNS:South West News Service Joe’s family are now raising awareness of how dangerous asthma is
The pollen count that day was unusually high and, while at a pal’s house later in the evening, Joe had a devastating asthma attack.
He was rushed to hospital but never regained consciousness and six days later his parents made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support machine.
Joe died on June 23, 2017 – the day of his school prom, for which he had been to buy a suit with his mum the day he collapsed.
Doctors believe his cause of death was a severe asthmatic reaction to pollen, which can cause airways to swell up for sufferers of the condition.HEARTBREAKING STORY
It’s believed the swelling caused Joe’s bronchial tubes to narrow, preventing the teen from being able to breath properly and falling unconscious.
Joe’s family are now telling their heartbreaking story in a bid to warn others about the potentially fatal dangers of the condition.
Joe’s mum Helena Dale, 50, added: “It’s impossible to put into words what it’s like to lose a child like this, it’s absolutely heart-wrenching.
“If I can prevent another family from going through what we’ve experienced then I have to do that.
“I hope I can raise awareness about just how dangerous asthma can be.”
‘FIT AND ACTIVE’
Helena described Joe as a ‘fit and active’ boy who played football up to four times a week and often went go kart racing with his dad Jon, 48.
He began suffering from asthma at the age of five but had only had one asthma attack, when he was 12.
Helena said he took a brown inhaler each morning and evening and kept a blue inhaler on him during the day in case of emergency.
She added that moments before he collapsed at around 7.30pm, Joe got up from his seat and puffed on his blue inhaler.
He then fell to the floor unconscious and an ambulance was called.
He was rushed to Barnsley Hospital and immediately admitted to intensive care, where doctors spent days attempting to save his life.
Helena says on June 23 a consultant told them there was nothing else they could do.
In the wake of the tragedy, the heartbroken couple decided to donate Joe’s organs and they have since learned they were used to save three other people including a father and a teenager.
He was such a kind and thoughtful personHelena DaleJoe’s mum
Helena said: “We knew he would have wanted that, he was such a kind and thoughtful person.
“It does help to know his death wasn’t for nothing.”
When the GCSE results were released that summer Joe’s family discovered he had achieved great results in all his subjects including some A*s.
He was due to go into Penistone Grammar’s sixth form a few weeks later and had plans to go to university thereafter.
The Dale family, including brother Matt, 14, and sister Abbie, 25, were supported by Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in the wake of Joe’s death.
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The hospice enables families to stay with their children after they die in specialist suites.
Abbie said: “It doesn’t seem real that he’s gone, I don’t think it ever will.
“I hope our story can raise enough awareness to prevent another family from experiencing the heartache that will remain with us everyday.”
SWNS:South West News Service Joe collapsed after a day in the park with his friends
SWNS:South West News Service Joe was ‘fit and active’ and played football four times a week
SWNS:South West News Service He had only had one asthma attack at the age of 12
SWNS:South West News Service Joe’s parents hold a picture of their son two years after his tragic death
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