Tributes paid after schoolboy’s sudden death

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HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a Wigan schoolboy who fell ill and died at the weekend, just five days after his 12th birthday.

Connor Donaldson, a pupil at Astley St Mary’s High School, was taken ill on Saturday evening and was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save him.

A source said that shortly before he complained of feeling poorly, the youngster, who was known to have a nut allergy, had enjoyed a curry from a local takeaway.

A post-mortem examination and toxicology tests are being carried out to ascertain the cause of death.

And if a severe anaphylactic reaction is to blame, inquiries will also explore whether menus at the unnamed eatery properly highlighted the possibility of a dish’s containing nuts.

Andrew Dawson, headmaster at St Mary’s, today led tributes to the youngster.

He said: “Connor was in Year 7 and turned 12 last Monday. Connor had a keen interest in sport, particularly football and was a devoted Manchester United fan. Connor was in Miss Kahli’s form and she speaks of the warmth of his personality and how he brightened up each day for her.

“He had settled into St Mary’s really well having joined us from St Stephen’s. He has two brothers and a sister.

“As a caring community that looks out for one another I know that every person within our school family will be distressed and deeply saddened by this news. I have spoken to the family and passed on our condolences, thoughts and prayers.

“Today, and the next few days, will be very difficult for lots of people within our school who knew Connor and we have put support in place for our young people in dealing with their grief. We have spoken to all Year 7 pupils in a special assembly and have our own bereavement counsellors and support from Wigan Local Authority.”

Police say they were called to the Royal Bolton Hospital at 9.50pm on Saturday after a boy, who had been admitted two hours earlier, had died.

After launching an investigation, Chief Insp Gareth Hughes, said: “This is obviously a tragic time for the family and our thoughts are with all of this young boy’s family and friends.

“We will be carrying out exhaustive inquiries to establish the exact cause of this young boy’s tragic death. Understandably the family are looking for answers and we will do everything we can to find those. What I can say is that we do not believe there is any third party involvement in this young boy’s tragic death.”

St Mary’s has opened a book of condelence for Connor and local clergy have been on hand to counsel his fellow pupils.