THE heartbroken family of a "perfect" teenage boy who died after an allergic reaction to a nut have warned others to be on guard.

Christopher Gould, 14, ate a cashew nut while watching TV at his home in Helmshore Avenue, Moorside. Within minutes he was complaining of an itchy throat and struggling to speak. An ambulance was called and his mother gave him an anti-histamine tablet.

That failed to make a difference and the youngster was rushed to hospital, where doctors battled to save him as his parents and sister looked on anxiously.

Sadly, within minutes he was dead.

Speaking from their home, Christopher's family said he had eaten cashew nuts before and had never had a reaction.

Mum Anne Marie, 44, a care assistant, said: "It happened so quickly. I was eating the nuts and asked him if he wanted one. He had one but then said his mouth and throat were itchy. I gave him a tablet and we called 999. He was panicking and wanted to walk to the ambulance. We went to the hospital and they did everything they could - we were allowed in as they tried to save him. He was booked in and minutes later he was gone."

Fighting back tears, Mrs Gould added: "There are so many 'if's and 'maybe's. I gave him the nut and I can't forget that. I'm supposed to be the one who looks out for him."

The teenager, a pupil at Our Lady's RC, Royton, was a big Oldham Athletic fan who his mum said "would do anything for anyone".

She added: "I know you hear people say this all the time but he really was perfect. He was an altar boy at church and a friend to all, young and old. He wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and that was typical of him - always wanting to help others. He was perfect - his smile would light up a room."

Christopher died in the early hours of Friday, July 25, - two days before the family were due to go to Scotland on holiday.

Dad Jim, 55, a teacher, said his son's death had left the family with "a huge hole".

He said: "I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone." Chris also leaves behind a sister, Joanna, 23, and younger brother David, 12.

An inquest has been opened and adjourned.