Great-grandmother killed by wasp sting had no idea she was allergic
A woman collapsed in her garden and died after she was stung by a wasp, an inquest has heard.
Desiree Pell, 78, died on August 16 last year at her home in Queensway, Ruskington, due to an allergic reaction to the sting.
She was stung on a finger as she peered into a barrel in her garden which she believed had a colony of wasps living in it, felt dizzy, lost unconsciousness and died soon afterwards.
Daughter-in-law Sharon Bell, who was with her at the time, said in evidence read to the inquest: “She said she had been bitten loads of times.”
The court heard that a neighbour called 999 and the ambulance service instructed Sharon to do CPR.
A LIVES First Responder and ambulance crew attended and tried in vain to resuscitate Mrs Pell, who was pronounced dead at just after 3pm.
The cause of death was anaphylaxis – severe allergic reaction to the wasp venom.
Coroner Marianne Johnson said: “Desiree Pell was at her house with her daughter-in-law Sharon and she said she thought she had a wasp’s nest in the garden.
“Mrs Pell thought the nest was in an ornamental barrel. She looked into it and was stung on her finger.
“From the evidence we have heard Mrs Pell was not aware that she would have a reaction.
“Mrs Pell felt dizzy and Sharon went into the house to get her a fleece.
“When she came back Mrs Pell was unconscious. She had an allergic reaction.
“Mrs Pell died as a result of major anaphylactic shock after being stung by a wasp in the garden.”
The coroner issued this warning to the public: “If you think you are allergic to stings then carry an EpiPen.
Mrs Pell, who attended Sleaford High School as a teenager, was three weeks away from celebrating almost 60 years of marriage to her devoted husband, Norman.
Her daughter Alyson Foster, 56, told Lincolnshire Live at the time of her death: “She was a wonderful woman – funny, loving and thoughtful and considerate to all her friends and family.
“We were best friends. She had a great sense of humour and when things were going pear-shaped, nothing fazed her. She was so supportive to everyone in the family.
“When my 13-year-old was in a show, my mother said: ‘I’m coming down on the train. I would not miss it for the world’.
“She wanted to share in the excitement. She travelled 150 miles in a day and did a round trip journey.
“There’s so many examples of her doing things like that.”
Family was always central to her life and, despite some of her relatives living across the globe, she maintained regular contact with all her family.
Despite her age, Desiree moved with the times and embraced learning to text and Facetime to keep in touch with all her grandchildren.
A ‘zest for fun’ with friends and family were hallmarks of her life, her family said.
Desiree was a popular character who had an ‘extensive friendship circle’ which was a testament to her qualities as a listener, the family said.
Born and raised in Heckington, she then moved to Ruskington where she lived her entire married life and was a proud Lincolnshire lady.
Desiree and Norman had four children – Richard, Nigel, Mark and Alyson.
Years later she had the joy of becoming a grandmother not just once, but seven times and was adored by Jamie and Chris in Australia, Dan and Tom in Lincolnshire and Nathan and Jess in Surrey.
She then became a great grandmother to Elsie, Oscar and Harley.
“If you see a wasps’ nest, do not approach it – call pest control.”