Mum’s anguish after healthy daughter, 9, died from allergic reaction on family picnic


THE mum of a nine-year-old tennis prodigy who died suddenly from an allergic reaction has revealed her anguish six months on, saying: “It doesn’t get easier.”

Sadie Bristow went into an anaphylactic shock when her family enjoyed a picnic in Whitstable, Kent, in August.

Sadie Bristow was a rising tennis star and was ranked No.1 girl in her age group by the Lawn Tennis Association
Sadie with her mum Clare and sisters Charlotte and April

She was a rising tennis star and was ranked the number one girl in her age group by the Lawn Tennis Association.

But the highly-active youngster suffered from allergies and was dairy intolerant.

Sadie told her parents she was feeling unwell and died after she was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in London. There was no specific trigger on the day she died.


Her mum Clare Bristow, 42, said her daughter’s death was “one of the most devastating things a family can go through”.

She told Kent Live: “That day was life changing for our family and our extended family.

“We are a really close family and we were all there on the day – her grandparents, the aunties and uncles – as we were all out enjoying a family picnic.

“It was all incredibly difficult. It has changed our lives forever.

“I can’t say it’s got any easier as everyone is still absolutely devastated.


“Every day is difficult. As an adult it is difficult to lose a child but a little kid having to lose their cousin or best friend – I don’t know how they do it.

“It is hard for them but it is very important that we are strong together, we grieve together, support each other and do the best that we can to make sure her life is remembered.”

Her family has set up the Sadie Bristow Foundation which has now raised more than £25,000 of its £35,000 target.

The foundation is holding two 12-hour non-stop tennis marathons in Sadie’s memory.

Her dad Stewart, 44, added: “She was just playing outside when she came in and told us she wasn’t well.

“Anaphylactic shock shuts down the airways very quickly and she did not respond to treatment with 16 shots of adrenaline, which is the first course of action.

“It is very rare and I think even the doctors we’re taken aback by the speed of it.”

Sadie suffered a fatal allergic reaction to dairy during a day out with her family and passed away the following day
Sadie, from Kent, with her tennis coach Dad, Stewart

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