Heartbroken mum of teen who died of asthma attack campaigns for inhaler ‘Lauren’s Law’

The heartbroken mum of a teenager who died after an asthma attack at work is campaigning to add inhalers to first aid kids.

Lauren Reid, 19, died in February last year at the bar where she worked in Glasgow.

She sadly passed away after a flare-up led to a cardiac arrest.

The teenager was kept on life support for four days before her mum Elaine Cunningham had to make the decision to turn the machines off, the Daily Record reports.

The 45-year-old has now launched a mission to implement Lauren’s Law and add inhalers to first aid kits.

She says there should be wider emergency access to Salbutamol inhalers without a prescription in order to avoid further tragedies.

She said: “Lauren died doing the job she loved but she would never ever have thought this would happen to her.

“I’m just a grieving mum who is trying to do my best for my daughter and trying to save others. I don’t want any other parent to feel the way I do.”

Lauren was working at Gin71 in Glasgow after becoming a fully-qualified chef when she fell ill.

Mum Elaine received a call at 9pm from a co-worker to say Lauren was struggling for breath and needed her inhaler.

She said: “I didn’t understand. She took her inhaler everywhere and even slept with it in her hand.

“The last three words I heard Lauren shouting over the phone were ‘mum, I’m panicking’.”

Her heart stopped functioning and her manager tried to revive her with CPR.

When Elaine arrived, her daughter was being brought to hospital by ambulance.

Family and friends kept a bedside vigil 24 hours a day before doctors told Elaine that the pressure on Lauren’s brain was so severe she would never recover.

She said: “I told them I’d take her home the way she was. I was willing to work so hard to keep my baby with me.

“They explained the longer I left it the worse it would be and in the end I had no choice but to switch it off.

“The nurse broke down in tears and said she’d never seen a support network like it.”

Now, just over a year on from the tragedy, Elaine is warning of the dangers of occupational asthma, especially in kitchens where triggers like flour, heat and fumes can spark attacks.

In 2014, an amendment was made to the Human Medicines Act allowing schools to hold spare emergency inhalers.

In Scotland, Asthma UK has worked with the Scottish Government on reviewing its guidance for schools on managing medicines in a bid to keep more children safe.

Elaine, of Glasgow’s Dennistoun, wants to see an extension to the law around the use of inhalers to make sure those working in hospitality are also protected.

The mum is driving her campaign through social media and has nearly 1million views from around the world on TikTok.

A petition on Change.org has been signed by more than 2000 people and she has just set up her own website.

It’s hoped her campaign, which is being backed by national chefs’ union Unichef, will soon make its way to Holyrood.

Elaine said: “I thought of Lauren’s Law almost straight away after losing her. I just had it in my head that I was supposed to do something.

“I’m amazed by the response it’s had so far and it has connected me with people from all over the world, which is a real support to me.

“I’m excited to see where it goes next. Sometimes I feel like Lauren is with me giving me all the answers.”