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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Earthquake dust possible role in death

Earthquake dust possible role in death

Last updated 11:50 30/03/2011
A mourning Christchurch mother believes liquefaction dust could have played a role in her 21-year-old daughter's death.

University student Mickel Allfrey died at Christchurch Hospital on March 21 after suffering an asthma attack at her Avonside home.

Her mother, Deborah Allfrey, said many things could trigger asthma but the thick dust around Avonside could have contributed to her daughter's attack.

''We will never know what caused it, but everytime you come to this side of town your throat tightens up,'' she said.

Mickel Allfrey had been a St John Youth member since she was 11 and ran the Fendalton division during the earthquake.

Her mother said she was often in dusty areas when she helped with administration work and cooking for the St John staff.

''She worked a lot with St John around the earthquake and was often in areas that were very dusty like the St Asaph headquarters,'' Deborah Allfrey said.

Mickel Allfrey had been in Wellington the week before her death and her mother said ''it all came on as soon as she came back to Christchurch''.

Deborah Allfrey said the last time her daughter had an asthma attack was January 2010 but doctors at Christchurch Hospital could not say if liquefaction dust was to blame for her daughter's fatal attack.

St John Ambulance spokesman Ian Henderson knew Mickel Allfrey personally and said it was hard to determine whether the dust had caused her death.

''It is possible. There is a lot of dust around Christchurch at the moment and it may have caused an increase in respiratory issues but I am not sure,'' he said.

Deborah Allfrey warned Christchurch residents suffering from asthma to get checked out straight away.

Since her death, Mickel Allfrey's organs have helped to save the lives of seven other people.

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