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A teacher at the school where 16 year-old Elizabeth Hippolyte suffered a major asthma attack which left her brain d...
A teacher at the school where 16 year-old Elizabeth Hippolyte suffered a major asthma attack which left her brain damaged told yesterday how he watched her fighting for life.

Michael Atkins, 41, told London's High Court how he encountered Elizabeth - now 23 -as she was being rushed from her classroom by her teacher, Beryl Brown, and a group ofpupils.

Mr Atkins was speaking on the second day of Elizabeth's battle for damages against the London Borough of Bexley, who managed the Riverside School where she was a pupil.Elizabeth was struggling to use her inhaler, he said, and Mr Atkins raced off to get help from another teacher who knew first aid.

'I thought she needed immediate help,' he told the court. 'I wasn't quite sure how serious it was, but it certainly was not the usual run of the mill incident with somebody falling ill in the class room.'

The court earlier heard how the asthma attack struck while Elzabeth was in a home economics class taught by Beryl Brown. Lawyers for Elizabeth allege that her pleas to be allowed home were not heeded by Mrs Brown and that a crucial delay in summoning help resulted in heart failure and oxygen starvation.

The Council denies blame, claiming Mrs Brown was unaware of Elizabeth's asthmatic condition.

Mr Badenoch, told the court yesterday that the oxygen starvation suffered by Elizabeth had caused severe brain damage. Elizabeth, of 26 Longsworth Close, London (SE28) seeks damages from Bexley Council, who deny negligence.

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