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Controversy Swirls Around 9-Year-Old’s Death Inside New York City School

Boy Choked On A Meatball, But What Happened Next Leads To ME Investigation
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Jonathan Jewth

Angela Jewth said she’s still searching for answers following the choking death of her 9-year-old son inside a New York City school in early December. (Photo courtesy: handout)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother in on a quest for answers after her 9-year-old son choked to death during lunch period at a New York City school.

CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown spoke to the child’s mother on Monday.

Angela Jewth can’t begin to explain her grief — and confusion — over the death of her son, Jonathan.

He died after choking on a meatball during lunch at P.S. 47 earlier this month.

“No parents should have to … go through what I’m going through,” Jewth said.

But the more Angela learns about that day the more she is beginning to question exactly what happened to her son.

According to a report by the Department of Education, Jonathan began choking at 12:15 p.m. as he was leaving the lunchroom.

A school employee called police at 12:16 p.m., while three adults, including a parent, assistant principal and school nurse, performed the Heimlich maneuver and then CPR.

But Emergency Services Records show the 911 call didn’t come in until 12:28 p.m.

According to dispatcher notes obtained by CBS 2 News, Jonathan was “still breathing” at 12:29:50.

However, 14 seconds later, notes show he had passed out again. Then, 12 seconds later he was not breathing.

Another 11 seconds passed and then the school nurse began CPR, followed by use of a defibrillator.

An ambulance arrived at 12:33 p.m., only four minutes after the 911 call was placed, but 18 minutes after the school’s own records show Jonathan began choking.

He was rushed to Jacobi Hospital, but by then was in a coma.

“He never waked up or opened his eyes, never,” his mother said.

School officials at P.S. 47 wouldn’t comment on the case, but parents were talking about it.

“I’m calling the school. The school is not giving any information,” Irawatie Somai said.

“I am so afraid to take my children to school now,” Jennifer Perez added.

School officials said nine staff members, including the assistant principal involved, were given CPR training in November.

But it wasn’t enough to save Jonathan.

“He was all I had and I loved him so much and he loved me,” Angela said.

And, more than anything, she wants to know what happened to him.

The Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an investigation into the little boy’s death.

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