The parents of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after an allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger baguette containing sesame seeds which had not been labelled on the packaging, gave an emotional interview on Monday's episode of This Morning. Talking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Nadim and Tanya opened up about the tragic incident in 2016 and their campaign to change the law and raise awareness of what had happened. During their appearance, Natasha's parents revealed how Sarah Ferguson had been a massive support to them after they met her at the airport on their way back to the United Kingdom following the tragedy.
Nadim and Tanya opened up about their encounter with Sarah Ferguson following their daughter's tragic death
Tanya revealed that Sarah had approached the couple in the airport lounge where they were waiting to take Natasha's body back to the United Kingdom, and had asked them why they looked so upset. "She was so heartfelt and wanted to help us in any way she could," Tanya said, adding: "She said she would support us all the way through."
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Holly and Phillip were equally keen to help Tanya and Nadim, and Phillip told the couple that they would be there for them to help with anything that they needed. Nadim – who was present on the plane when Natasha had her allergic reaction – also recalled how he had tried to save her by using two EpiPens, but that they didn’t work. Nadim said: "I knew exactly what to do. It didn’t help at all. I was utterly stunned as my daughter continued to say, 'Daddy I can't breathe, help me, help me, I can't breathe.'" The devastated dad added: "As a father, it's nothing worse, as a family there's nothing worse than helping your child live as she's dying in front of you. It's really, really bad. Terrible."
Nadim and Tanya – who also appeared on Monday's Good Morning Britain – also opened up about their daughter's dreams to become a pilot. They said: "She was just… she would try anything. She had been up in a microlight when she was 10 years old, she took the wheel, she wanted to be a pilot. It’s so ironic. She had big dreams."
The 15-year-old collapsed on a British Airways flight from London to Nice on 17 July 2016 after eating the baguette, which contained sesame seeds – an allergen not listed on the wrapper.
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On Monday, Natashas father, Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, 53, who was on the flight with his daughter and her best friend, told BBC Radio 4s Today programme: At Natashas funeral, in front of 500 people, I promised that we would get justice for her death, justice for the future that no one else should suffer such a needless and pointless death.
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He said the familys campaign would resonate deeply with other parents of allergic children and Natasha herself. Natasha was a very energetic girl, full of energy and always championed the underdog. .. Shes renowned for that.
If anyone was picked on at school she would always side by them to help them through or claim what they were going through was unfair, and so with that in mind … she would be in heaven looking down and saying, Yes, yes to daddy, yes to mummy, please make these changes go through. Its so important that others dont die or have terrible life-threatening injuries as a result of something so simple, so simple.
Describing how his daughters condition deteriorated on the flight, he said her symptoms came on very fast, like an explosion. I called my wife and told her to say goodbye. I knew she was going to die, he said.
Video: “Our Daughter Died After Eating a Pret à Manger Baguette” | This Morning
At the conclusion of last weeks inquest into her death, Dr Séan Cummings, the assistant senior coroner for west London, said he would be writing to the environment secretary, Michael Gove, urging him to review food labelling regulations, which exempt shops that produce food on-site from having to list allergens on the individual packaging.
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After the inquest, Clive Schlee, the chief executive of Pret a Manger, said the company was deeply sorry for Natashas death and would effect meaningful change.
Pret-a-Manger says UK food labelling laws are inadequate following death of teenage girl who ate baguette
Responding to his comments, Natashas mother, Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, 51, said My reaction is that things need to start changing right now.
Tomorrow is, for me, not soon enough. You dont need to have a law change to actually do the right thing. And its not difficult for a company that produces the many millions of sandwiches and baguettes that it does to have a procedure in place to label accurately all their products.
The inquest heard that regulations that allow shops that produce food on-site to post general allergen warnings around the store, instructing customers to consult staff for advice, rather than posting warning stickers on wrappers, were designed to benefit small sandwich shops that make food in front of the customer.