Name: Bowen Levy.
Died: November 10, 2019.
Age at death: 17.
Cause of death: Neglect (Not assigned needed one-on-one aide; died after choking on a latex glove).
Location: Edgewater, Maryland, USA.
Bowen was an energetic teenager who was always smiling and laughing, and made everyone else around him smile too. He loved his family and he loved eating good food. Sesame Street’s Elmo was his favorite. He had two sisters.
Bowen went to a special school for severely disabled children. He needed a one-on-one aide to keep him safe; but the school, citing funding cuts and the difficulty of hiring aides, eventually denied him the aide. Bowen, lacking the supervision he needed to stay safe, tried to eat a latex glove, choked on it, and died in the hospital eight days before his 18th birthday.
In his obituary, his family says, “The world is simply a better place because he was in it.”
Bowen Levy’s Obituary
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Name: Kedar Williams.
Died: August 13, 2019.
Age at death: 19.
Cause of death: Negligence (Choked; diet plan ignored).
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA.
Kedar liked people-watching at the shopping center CityPlace. He liked riding the trolley. He often sat on his grandmother’s porch, just watching people walk by. He loved dogs and, after he had begged his parents for a long while, his family adopted a Yorkshire terrier named Bella.
When Kedar was in his mid-teens, he started having problems swallowing. While eating a meal with his family, he choked and nearly died; he spent time in a medically induced coma in the hospital before recovering. Luckily, Kedar’s problem didn’t prevent him from eating on his own–he merely had to have his food cut into small pieces, and have someone sit with him when he ate to make sure he ate slowly and washed each bite down with his drink. His mother and pediatrician designed an education plan, approved by the school, that he would always have one-to-one supervision.
Only a year later, however, Kedar was riding the bus–without an aide–when he got some snack food out of his backpack, put it into his mouth and choked again. This time, Kedar’s sister intervened and saved him. His mother went to the school and insisted that Kedar’s safety plan be followed, showing them a photo of Kedar in a coma to make it clear what happened when he was not supervised while eating.
At 19 years old, Kedar was starting another school year. His previous aide wasn’t available and he hadn’t been assigned a new one. At lunch, though he was supposed to be on one-on-one supervision, he was sharing an aide with another student. Two days into the school year, Kedar tried to eat some chicken nuggets. He choked and died.
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KEDAR WILLIAMS’s Obituary