Denaby Boy’s Swift Death Due to Blood Poisoning

January 1959

South Yorkshire Times January 31, 1959

Denaby Boy’s Swift Death Due to Blood Poisoning

Shortly after returning home from Mexborough Grammar  School, a Denaby boy, Kenneth Coleflax (14) of Adwick Street, told his father that someone had stepped on his big toe during a school physical training session. Four days later he died of blood poisoning and at the inquest at Conisbrough yesterday a doctor said the injury to the toe was the most likely starting point of the infection which caused the blood poisoning and eventually the boy’s death.

At Football Match

Kenneth, who had been out to play on Wednesday night, attended on Thursday and Friday and visited Doncaster to see a football match I on Saturday, was taken ill on Saturday, and died on Sunday night.

Dr. H. Lederer, pathologist, said death was caused by blood poisoning following infection of the right leg. He said a small injury could have been the cause of the infection. He told the Coroner (Mr. W. Carlile), that at the post mortem examination he found no evidence of injury to the leg, foot or toe, but he agreed, taking into consideration the evidence given by the boy’s father, that the big toe seemed quite likely to be the starting place of the infection.

Recording a verdict of “Accidental Death” the Coroner told the boy’s father, haulage hand Mr. Frank Coleflax, that his son might have been saved if he had sent for the doctor.

Never Complained

Coleflax said his son had had good health and even after complaining on Wednesday evening about the injury to his toe he seemed to be well. “He went to school on Thursday and Friday and went to see Doncaster Rovers on Saturday” he said. “I saw his toe and it seemed to be sore round the nail, but he never complained about it again.”

Witness said he went out on Saturday night and when he returned his wife said Kenneth had been sick. The boy had been sent bed and he told his father later on that he was “all right.”

On Sunday morning the boy got up and witness said he saw that the toe was very red. “I put a poultice on it, but he never complained about the pain,” he added.

“That afternoon I carried him upstairs and put him to bed. He said he was all right and I went out.”

Coleflax told the Coroner that that night he asked another son to go up to Kenneth. The boy came downstairs and said his brother was on the floor. Witness said he rushed upstairs and shouted “Kenneth, Kenneth” but received no reply. A neighbour was then asked to go for the doctor.

Coroner: “Did you not think to ask for the doctor before?”

Witness: We did not know what was the matter

Coroner: That would have been the way to find out.

Dr. Lederer agreed with the Coroner that if Coleflax had sent for the doctor earlier, Kenneth might have been cured.