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Mum of Scot who died of asthma attack tells of joy over inhaler campaign success

A campaign in memory of a young chef who died after an asthma attack at work is to be debated at Westminster after receiving global support.

The Sunday Mail revealed in April how the mum of tragic Lauren Reid had launched a fight to have life-saving inhalers added to first aid kits in kitchens to protect others in the industry.

Now a petition by the national chefs’ union, driven by Elaine’s bid to implement “Lauren’s Law,” has raced past 100,000
signatures and paved the way for a debate in the UK Parliament.

Elaine said: “I don’t know where I got the fight to do this. But I’ve done it and I’m so proud.

“I believe my wee girl’s name is going to help save lives all over the world.”

Lauren and mum Elaine in 2014

Lauren, of Glasgow’s Dennistoun, was just 19 when she died in February last year after a flare-up at the bar where she worked led to a cardiac arrest.

The Rangers fan was kept on life support for four days before Elaine, 45, had to make the shattering decision to turn the machines off.

After hearing of Lauren’s case, the union Unichef launched a bid to urge the UK Government to allow non-prescribed storage of
Salbutamol in commercial kitchens, where conditions can spark attacks.

Elaine’s tireless promotion of the petition saw it being discussed as far afield as Australia and last night she was celebrating it hitting the target.

She said: “I think I’m going to feel lost after this but we will be there to support the petition in Parliament and will have a big celebration.

“Anything connected to Lauren and what she loved, like football, Lewis Capaldi, I’ve just grabbed the opportunity to speak to fans online and tell them about her.

“It’s been hard work but it’s been like my counselling, in a way. I’ve felt her with me all the time. I wanted her name to be known and now it is by people all over the world. I can’t thank those 100,000 people who supported us enough.”

In 2014 an amendment was made to the Human Medicines Act allowing schools to hold spare emergency inhalers.

In Scotland, Asthma UK has worked with the Scottish Government on reviewing its guidance for schools on managing medicines.

Brian McElderry, executive director of Unichef, said: “The success of the petition is strategic as we now must show to the licensing authority, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, that there is a real need to have the amendment put in place.

“We know how vitally important this is and, with the incredible support of Asthma UK, we believe Unichef can set out the case for the amendment.

Mum of Scot who died of asthma attack tells of joy over inhaler campaign success
Lauren Reid died after suffering an asthma attack at work

“We sincerely thank all of your readers and all those supporting Lauren’s Law. This is incredible.”

Once petitions reach 10,000 signatures on the UK Government website, they receive a response.

At 10,000, on August 25, the Department of Health and Social Care said it was “extremely saddened” to hear about Lauren.

It added: “Asthma inhalers are a mainstay of treatment and access to prescribed inhalers can save lives. The Licensing Authority can consider evidence to support a specific exemption to supply controls.”

The petition is available here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/578676.

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