THE grief-stricken family of a teenage girl who died suddenly after collapsing at her home have vowed to battle on to find the exact cause of her death.
Francesca Sanna, 19, of Broadfield, Oswaldtwistle, was in a car with friends heading for a night out when she suddenly lurched forward and turned white.
Her friends, who were aware Francesca suffered from asthma and severe allergies, drove her the short distance home where she collapsed in the hallway.
Despite the efforts of a passing nurse and her family, Francesca died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital the same day.
At an inquest this week, consultant pathologist Dr Richard Prescott said that during a post-mortem examination he found evidence to suggest that Francesca had suffered from respiratory problems relating to asthma but not that an asthma attack had killed her.
Instead, he told the coroner there was significant evidence of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can affect the whole body.
The pathologist was unable to identify what had caused the severe reaction which killed Francesca but suggested that something as simple as toothpaste, mouthwash or a tampon could have been responsible.
Francesca’s mother, Kim, asked him if it was possible for further blood tests to be carried out to determine exactly what caused the reaction.
But Deputy Coroner Carolyn Singleton replied that if that was what the family wanted they would have to go about it themselves.
Francesca’s brother, Domenico, 22, said after the inquest: "The verdict was nothing we were not expecting and it is good to see that all the tests were done properly.
"I think it is important to record that my sister was somebody who was very knowledgeable about anaphylaxis and that she did not let it affect the way she lived her life. With this illness the body can change, making things we thought were safe, dangerous.
"The next thing for us as a family will be to try and get further blood tests done to help us find the cause of the reaction and hopefully get some peace of mind."
Mrs Singleton, who recorded a narrative verdict, closed the inquest by offering her condolences.
She said: "It is not the normal order of things for any parent to have to say goodbye to one of their children. I have a child not dissimilar in age to Francesca and I cannot think what it must be like."
On 24 May Francesca’s friends will be holding a football match in her honour at Accrington Stanley. All the money raised by the match will be donated to anaphylaxis research.
Francesca, affectionately known as Mim, was a former pupil of Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School. Her dad Franco owns Franco’s restaurant in Oswaldtwistle.