Killed by a cockatiel
Reporter: Marina Berry
Date online: 25 January 2013
A PET cockatiel caused the death of an 84-year-old woman when she contracted a rare lung conditin.
Lilian Kershaw became progressively breathless in the home she shared with her daughter, grandsons and cockateel Charlie in Kershaw Road, Failsworth.
Her daughter, Denise Bacchas, told an inquest yesterday they sent the bird to a refuge after the condition had been diagnosed - but it was too late to halt the disease.
Mrs Kershaw spent 18 months on oxygen at home. When her condition worsened she was admitted to the Royal Oldham Hospital, where she died 13 days later.
Charlie had been a family pet for nine years and was kept in a cage in the living room,
Mrs Kershaw spent little time there and never handled the bird - but consultant Dr Georges Ng Man Kwong explained that airborne particles from the bird’s droppings or feathers could have been inhaled by her.
He added: “There is no way of knowing who is susceptible to bird fancier’s lung. It is an uncommon and rare condition.”
Mrs Bacchas (56) said after the inquest she had never heard of the diesease.
“It never even crossed my mind that Charlie was the cause, and obviously he had to go when we found out.”
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Simon Nelson said: “It is clear neither Mrs Kershaw nor Charlie appreciated the consequences to their presence in the family home.”
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