Swallowing mystery object claims 4-year-old's life

Jun 05, 2012, 06:24 IST | Veda Ramaswamy

Mother says toddler gestured with hands that something was stuck in his throat after he came home from play

Tragedy struck Suvarna and Shashikant Sawant, when their four-year-old son, Manthan, was declared dead on arrival at Ghatkopar’s Rajawadi Hospital around 11 am yesterday. However, mystery shrouds Manthan’s death, as he was hale and hearty when he left home to play with his colony friends. The Sawants are residents of Gautam Nagar in Govandi.

Grief-stricken: Suvarna and Shashikant Sawant grieving Manthan’s loss

“Manthan had chapati with jam and a couple of rava ladoos for breakfast following which he left home to play with his colony friends. However, he came back within 10 minutes. He was feeling restless and started vomiting,” said Suvarna. She also said that Manthan was gesturing with his hands that something was stuck in his throat and she thumped his back, hoping that it would help him get it out. But Manthan collapsed in her lap, and stopped breathing.

“The incident occurred around 10 am in the morning. We immediately rushed him to Sai Kripa Hospital in Chembur. The hospital staff advised us to admit him to Rajawadi hospital, as they lacked ICU facility. But he was declared dead on arrival at Rajawadi,” said Suvarna. His aunt said, “All of us had the same breakfast and sweets. Nothing has happened to any of us. I am certain that he might have swallowed some object, maybe a coin while playing, which led to his unfortunate death.”

“The autopsy report is not yet out. Once we have it, only then can we confirm the exact cause of his death,” said Pandit Sonawane, API, Deonar police station. A case has been registered under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (doubt regarding the cause of death). Till last night, the police officials were still awaiting the report, so that they could give Sawants the permission to claim the toddler’s body and perform last rites.
“Two months ago, he had fallen off a moving truck, and had injured his jaw. But he made it through that. Little did I know that his life would come to such an abrupt end. He was supposed to start schooling this month,” mourned Suvarna. Grandma’s Sonya

Remembering Manthan as an energetic and a playful child, Supriya, a neighbour, said, “He used to play all day long. He was a very active boy. We thought he would become a sportsperson someday. Of all the children, he was his grandmother’s beloved and she would fondly call him ‘Sonya’.” 

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