Inquest Into Death Of Disabled Teen Who Choked On Glove Begins
Sophia Alessio Nisco, a 16-year-old with physical and intellectual disabilities, was found dead in her care facility in early 2017 after choking to death on a rubber glove. The coroner's inquest into the case begins today.
Nisco was born with severe physical and intellectual disabilities, including cerebral palsy, and was living in respite care at the time of her death.
On February 11, 2017 Nisco was found by care workers on the floor of the bathroom in her disAbility Living Inc. accommodation in the north-east suburbs of Adelaide.
When paramedics arrived on the scene, one noticed a foreign body was blocking her airway: when they removed the object they found it was a disposable medical glove that had led to Nisco's suffocation.
Despite trying to resuscitate the teenager for approximately 40 minutes, she was declared dead at the scene.
Assisting council Kathryn Waite reported at the opening of the inquest on Monday morning that Nisco would often explore her environment by putting objects into her mouth, according to witnesses.
The teenager had a history of placing latex gloves in her mouth because she apparently enjoyed the texture.
The primary issues that will be explored in the inquest are whether or not the respite home had enough staff on shift to provide substantive care and if the care provided was adequate.
The coroner's court is also seeking to understand why Nisco was left unsupervised while she was out of her secure wheelchair.
Nella Nisco, Sophia's mother, believes her daughter's death could have been avoided and told the court that she was "left alone in a part of the house which was totally isolated".
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Nisco told reporters that she was hoping that the inquest would result in justice for her daughter.
"I hope this never happens to any other family with a vulnerable child," Nisco said.
More to come.