Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Grieving father's call for change

Carole and Graeme Jones
Shaun Jones' parents outside the inquest in Cardiff

The father of a 14-year-old boy who died after taking treatment for acne says young people are under too much pressure to look good.

Shaun Jones, who had spots on his back and shoulders, had an "idiosyncratic reaction" to an acne medication, the coroner recorded at the inquest.

He died as a result of complications after medical treatment.

His father Graeme said young people were under pressure to look perfect "like a model in a magazine".

A narrative verdict was recorded, saying the cause of death was an idiosyncratic reaction to a single capsule.

"We need to change the way society is, if that's done through the schools, education, news, radio, whatever it takes," said Mr Jones, speaking before the inquest.

"If you do have one or two spots, it's not the end of the world and you will grow out of them - don't be influenced by peer pressure or the magazines, the glossy magazines, the pin-up people you see, the pop stars," he urged.

Graeme Jones on his son Shaun, 14, who died after a reaction to acne medication

Mr Jones said his son, a pupil at Hawthorn High School in Pontypridd, had talked about his spots to his family.

"He was picture perfect, he just wanted the small blemishes tidied up," he said.

"That's the way young kids are. He just wanted to eradicate whatever blemishes he had left."

After the inquest, Sefton Kwasnik, solicitor for the Jones family, said there were many unanswered questions about the case, including the dispensing of the alternative medication.

Mr Kwasnik said there was a possibility of Mr and Mrs Jones taking civil action in the future once they had assessed the inquest and its verdict.

"From the moment they went to the doctors' surgery to today has opened a whole range of issue for others that they don't want to have visited upon them either.

"At every turn the family have been faced with obstruction and difficulty."

He added: "The family will continue their pursuit of justice for their son."

Shaun Jones
Shaun Jones, 14, was a promising rugby player

Shaun played for his village rugby team, Rhydyfelin RFC, and the Pontypridd schools team, winning the most improved player in the club awards.

"His biggest ambition was to play for Wales, that's all he wanted to do," said Mr Jones.

Terrible shock

He said his son was a strong, fit boy and it was a terrible shock to see him fighting for his life in hospital.

"My life stopped there and then and I think it flashed before me to see my son in such a poor condition," he said.

"Someone who was big, athletic, fit - one of the fittest lads I had ever, ever known.

"It was about 1040 on that Tuesday morning and we were called back to his bedside where they were performing CPR for the last time and that's where we lost him.

"They said sorry and there's nothing more we can do and then they switched the machine off and that was it."

Mr Jones said he wanted to prevent other families from suffering a similar tragedy.

"I don't want this happening to any other family or any other children in the world not just in Britain, the world, it's got to be stopped," he said.

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