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Mum believes football-crazy son died from online ‘choking game’ after craze sweeps the interne

Alfie-Hembrow-image

A mum fears her son died from the ‘choking game’ craze sweeping the internet, after another schoolboy reportedly fell victim to it.

Louise Hembrow has issued a warning to other parents about the dangers of the game.

In March, her football-mad son Alfie, 10, collapsed at their family home in Hereford.

He died of a rare condition vagal inhibition which stops the heart, killing in less than two minutes.

Louise, 43, believes Alfie died after taking part in the online game, in which youngsters film themselves choking and post the video on social media.

Louise Hembrow's son Alfie, ten, died after he collapsed at home in Hereford
Louise Hembrow’s son Alfie died after he collapsed at home in Hereford

This comes after 12-year-old Karnel Haughton is believed to have died as a result of the internet craze.

A friend of Karnel’s mum, from Birmingham, said the lad had told pals about the game before the June 1 tragedy, reports the Birmingham Mail.

For business manager Louise, the terrible news only hardened her belief that Alfie fell victim to the same craze.

She always thought that was the cause, and has informed police of her fears.

It was reported that Alfie succumbed from the rare condition vagal inhibition, which stops the heart, killing in less than two minutes.

Louise Hembrow's son Alfie, ten, died after he collapsed at home in Hereford
Alfie was a normal, football-loving boy

Louise now awaits the outcome of a full inquest, which has yet to be scheduled.

She said: “The medical condition – no one has spoken to me about that.

“I had always thought it was the choking game. I didn’t know it existed, but I was told some boys had been talking about it at school.”

Louise Hembrow's son Alfie, ten, died after he collapsed at home in Hereford
The tragic young boy died after taking part in the game, his mum believes

But Louise cannot comprehend why a caring, safety-conscious boy would take such a gamble.

“He was a BMX fan, a skateboard youngster. He didn’t play rugby because he thought it was too dangerous.

“He wouldn’t do anything he thought would do him harm.”

Yet, somehow, he was lured into taking part in the choking game, Louise fears.

“This is something parents have to be aware of,” she said. “This is something that has to stop.

“It’s the end of the game that’s never explained and children of that age think they are invincible.”

She and Alfie’s father, Nick, are struggling to come to terms with their loss.

Louise Hembrow's son Alfie, ten, died after he collapsed at home in Hereford
Alfie, seen here, died from a rare condition

In the aftermath of the death, they issued a statement saying: “Alfie was our world, our life and the smartest boy in town. The hole he has left in his friends and family’s heart will never be filled.”

At the opening of the inquest, it was revealed Alfie died of vagal inhibition, which causes the heart to stop through the stimulation of the vagus nerve in the neck.

It can be caused by pressure on the neck but no evidence was given to the hearing that Alfie died as a result of an accident. The hearing was adjourned for further inquiries.

Louise Hembrow's son Alfie, ten, died after he collapsed at home in Hereford
A memorial to Alfie which includes his school tie

West Mercia Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

On Facebook, Louise said: “He’s my beautiful, beautiful boy. He is my life and my world and I love him with ever breath I have in my body. Just one more hug please. Love mummy.”

His self-employed father Nick, 40, has dedicated a star in the night sky to the bright and popular schoolboy.

Louise Hembrow's son Alfie, ten, died after he collapsed at home in Hereford
Alfie dressing up before his tragic death aged 10

Everton fan Alfie played for Hereford City Sky Blues junior football team and was a “talented right-footer”.

Former coach Andie Cox said: “Alfie’s beaming smile always lit up the pitch when he was playing.”




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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field