St Annes teenager who stabbed himself during row with mum died despite doctors trying to save him with open heart massage in the garden

Dramatic attempts by medics to save the life of St Annes teenager Callum Davies who stabbed himself in the abdomen proved in vain.
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Two doctors who had rushed by helicopter joined paramedics at the St Annes home of 15-year-old Callum following the incident gave him open heart surgery in the back garden in a life-saving attempt before he was ferried to the hospital by road, but he was declared dead just a few hours after the stabbing, self-inflicted during a row with his mum.

An inquest at Preston heard that Callum has a history of behavioural concerns dating back to when he was seven years old and had changed school several times over the years because of behavioural problems.

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His mum, Leonnie Clark, had reported on several occasions, to the mental health team to whom Callum had been referred, concerns for her safety when Callum had what she described as “an ADHD meltdown” as he threw objects and issued threats to harm her.

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Callum Davies
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She had been advised to inform police if she was particularly concerned and she did so on the morning of Callum’s death, in May last year, when the taxi taking him to school arrived earlier than usual and she had to rouse him from bed.

After swearing as he reluctantly got ready, he said he wanted money from her to compensate for the early start and as he left the house, picked up a pair of scissors and scratched her face.

Miss Clark said in a statement to the inquest that she called police and they pledged to call round after Callum returned from school, but he arrived back before they did and on his return to he house, another row broke out and he started throwing objects.

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Callum Davies
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His mum said she was again seriously concerned for her safety and called police on 999. As Callum said “I can’t believe you did that”, Miss Clark saw that he had a knife in his hand and he “put it in his torso”.

She immediately rang for an ambulance and at first thought the wound was not too bad, with little blood from what appeared a small cut that ”would just require stitches”.

But soon Callum said he couldn’t feel his legs and was getting more pale all the time. Callum’s grandma, alerted to the incident along with his dad, gave him an inhaler to try to help him.

Senior paramedic William Moran said that by the time he arrived, shortly after two technician colleagues and police officers, Callum’s oxygen levels had dropped considerably and as two doctors on board a medical helicopters dispatched from Manchester, he had gone into cardiac arrest.

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Preston Coroner's Court
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The doctors gave him open heart surgery in the garden of the family home and then with care ongoing, they took him by road to Preston, as a road ambulance offered more room in which to work on a patient than a helicopter.

Despite further efforts at the hospital, Callum died early that evening of his injuries, which had seen the knife go through his liver and pierce his renal vain and aorta.

While that was ruled the cause of death in a post mortem, assistant coroner Kate Bisset returned a narrative verdict.

She said the injury had clearly been self-inflicted but she felt Callum had had no intention to kill himself so could not returned a verdict of suicide. Equally, it was not an accident and she also felt the option of a misadventure verdict was inappropriate.

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Ms Bisset expressed her deepest sympathies to Callum’s family and also made strong criticism of the medical authorities who had “missed opportunities” in his care for ADHD, which had long involved medication.

The last time Callum had been seen by the authorities was in August 2021, despite his mum making contact to express her concerns over a deterioration in his behaviour.

An investigation was launched after his death and several changes made to staffing and routines for such care but Ms Bisset said she felt Callum’s ADHD had been “largely unmanaged” at the time of his death.

"However, as there had been no previous indication that Callum was going to harm himself, I cannot be satisfied that (unmanaged care) contributed to his death,” said the coroner.

"If he had killed Ms Clark with the knife, my thoughts would have been different but, as Callum acted on impulse in the heat of the moment, I feel a narrative verdict is appropriate.”