Kindergarten student's death blamed on pushpin

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by JOBIN PANICKER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 8:52 AM

FRISCO, Texas — Meaghan Levy was just days away from her sixth birthday. Family members called her "Miss Meaghan" because they said she had a maturity well beyond her years.

Her aunt, Erika Kennedy, said she was smart, bubbly, and — sadly — taken from this world too soon.

“We were praying; we were talking to her, whispering in her ear, and just begging her to hold on,” Kennedy said, recalling Meaghan's final moments in a North Texas hospital.

The five-year-old died at Corbell Elementary School on December 12, 2013. The police report — and later, a medical examiner's ruling — confirmed that Meaghan had swallowed a pushpin. It was labeled an "accidental" death in the police report.

It’s been five months, but it’s still very difficult for Meaghan’s mother, Nicole, to talk about it.

“When you have so many questions, and so many unanswered questions, it makes it that much harder to swallow, and we can’t even begin to grieve,” Kennedy said.

The accident happened early in the school day. According to the police report, Meaghan ran up to her teacher with ”her hands up near her neck.”

The teacher rushed her to the school nurse, but Meaghan “collapsed in the hallway."

Volunteers nearby had administered CPR. The school nurse even used a nearby oxygen unit or respiratory device but — according to the report — witnesses said it “malfunctioned."

This family is now asking if one thing had gone right, would Meaghan still be alive?

“It’s not necessarily putting the blame on the people; it's about making a change for the better, and for all children,” Kennedy said.

They want all teachers at Frisco ISD to be CPR-certified and they also want pushpins removed from kindergarten classrooms.

The family has started a petition, hoping Frisco ISD listens.

Family and friends have launched an online movement at MeaghansHope.net and a Meaghan's Hope Facebook page.

Frisco ISD told News 8 it does not plan on making any public comments now that the family is being represented by counsel.

Erika Kennedy said a lawsuit was filed several weeks ago against Oxysure, the maker of the portable oxygen unit.

This being an accident doesn’t make it any easier for a mother, but it has fueled a family to call for change.

“If it saves one life, it’s worth it,” Kennedy said.

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