Grieving mother demands to know what happened at Hackney school Halloween party

Rashann Williams

Rashann Williams - Credit: Archant

A mother whose nine-year old son died after falling ill at a Halloween party at a Hackney school wants answers as to what happened there.

Family and friends of Rasharn Williams at the City of London cemetry

Family and friends of Rasharn Williams at the City of London cemetry - Credit: Archant

The celebration at Berger Primary School on October 23 was the first that nine-year-old Rasharn Williams, who was born with a hole in his heart, had attended alone.

Rasharn, who was under the care of a heart specialist at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital was dropped at the school in Anderson Road, Hackney Wick, by his mother Lorna Williams, who was shopping in Leyton with her 11-year-old daughter when she received a phone call.

She said: “I had a call to say, ‘can you come to school because Rasharn has had a panic attack because he had a fright’.

“I said, ‘he has a heart problem, are you sure it’s not a seizure or fit?’, and they said ‘no, he’s having a panic attack’, so I zoomed to the school.”

Ms Williams, a receptionist at Homerton Hospital, said: “It took me half an hour to get there. The worst thing about it is when I got there they asked me if they should call the ambulance.

“The ambulance then took seven minutes to get there – my son could have been in the hospital by then and being taken care of,” added Ms Williams.

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Rasharn was taken to Homerton Hospital where medics tried to save him for two hours, but he died.

Ms Williams, of Mabley Street, Homerton, said: “I want my answers. No one can tell me to this day what happened – all they can say is he had a panic attack.

“I want to know what happened from start to finish until I got there, and who was handling him. I wouldn’t feel like this if they had called the ambulance. I believe he could have still been here.”

Ms Williams said her son had been looking forward to the party where he dressed up as a skeleton.

She said: “The night before I bought his costume, he said, ‘I’m going to look so nice tomorrow’. This is the first time he went alone. He was getting bigger and he begged to go to the school party, he was so happy to go.

“He was trying to lead a normal life, he was a humble little boy, you could hardly hear him when he spoke, he was so shy. He was always smiling.”

Headteacher Steve Gleason said: “Everyone at Berger Primary is devastated by the tragic loss of Rasharn, who was a popular, well-liked pupil of our school.

“A governing body commissioned investigation is now underway so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

An inquest has been opened and Rasharn’s funeral took place yesterday at the City of London cemetery.