4-year-old boy dies in heartbreaking accident at home

A four-year-old boy with cerebral palsy passed away after his head became trapped in an Olaf bed on the first night he slept in it. Ethan Wade was discovered by his dad the following morning in Chatham in July 2021 while preparing school lunch boxes downstairs. He was found face down, unresponsive, and ‘floppy,’ and it is believed he suffered respiratory arrest.

His mum, Jessica Gardiner, said: ‘Ethan was the light and soul of our lives. He was such a happy-go-lucky boy, always had a smile on his face that made you smile. ‘He was such a larger-than-life character. Ethan is forever loved, cherished, and adored by myself, his dad, brothers, sisters, and all who knew him.’

The inquest heard his younger siblings may have played with the buttons of the remote that controlled the specially adapted bed.

Ethan was non-verbal and suffered reflux, global development delay, as well as mobility issues. Both parents said Ethan’s bed was left at its lowest level, as recommended the night before his death.

The inquest also considered whether a child lock security key was attached to the remote when installed. The driver who installed the medical bed ‘mislaid’ paperwork, including a checklist, which should have been given to the family.

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