Mystery surrounds sudden death of boy, 9, at Graham’s Hall Primary

Yogendra Persaud, a Grade Four pupil of Graham’s Hall Primary, collapsed during the break period at his school on Wednesday, and was later pronounced dead on arrival at a city hospital.

The boy’s mother Veronica Reid related that she was told by Yogendra’s class teacher that he had been in the classroom playing when he asked for water. Shortly after he received it (she was unclear on whether he actually got the chance to drink it), she was told, he began to froth at the mouth and urinated himself, collapsing shortly afterwards. He was helped to a seat by the class teacher, who needed the assistance of another colleague to carry the child as he “had a weight” to him. He was subsequently rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

At present, there are conflicting reports surrounding the nine-year-old’s death, but all accounts given to the family seem to suggest that Yogendra may have ingested something shortly before he collapsed.

Yogendra Persaud
Yogendra Persaud

His mother related that one of the stories being circulated by the students is that Yogendra had purchased a pack of corn curls at a “bring and buy sale.” No teacher had been in the classroom at the time. After he ate it, he asked for water and began frothing. In a different version of the events, Yogendra allegedly bought and drank an energy drink prior to the episode.

Reid received a telephone call while at work that her son, who they called Shawn, was not breathing. When she arrived at the hospital, she met a doctor who enquired as to whether the child had had any allergies, or had been sick. She said she indicated that he had no allergies, and health wise, he had only had a “slight fresh cold.” She was subsequently informed that her son had died on arrival at the hospital.

She recalled that there was nothing out of the ordinary in Yogendra’s behaviour on Wednesday morning. He had woken up, ate, dressed and combed his hair as usual, and they had all sat at the breakfast table to eat and had a chat before leaving.

The baby of the bunch, Yogendra was the last of three children, and the only son to his parents.

Although Yogendra’s father, Rakesh Persaud, was present at the meeting yesterday, he did not say much, but a smile tugged at his lips from time to time when his wife made mention of their son.

A bit of an exhibitionist on his bicycle, Yogendra was also an avid lover of cricket and marbles, and was described as a joyful, hardworking and mannerly child, whose dream was to grow up to be a machine operator like his father.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be conducted on Monday.


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