Statement on the death of Michael Gibson

Statement on the death of Michael Gibson

  • 20 July 2018
  • News

The Anaphylaxis Campaign is saddened to learn of the death of Michael Gibson, a 66-year-old retired former teacher and theatre director from Louth in Lincolnshire, following a tragic accident in November last year.

The news emerged following an inquest at Boston Coroner’s Court. From the media report, we understand that Mr Gibson had an allergy to wasp stings and was prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector to use in the event of an emergency. Sadly, Mr Gibson was found by his wife with serious injuries after falling from a ladder at his home on 2nd November 2017 and despite the best efforts of his wife and emergency services was unable to be revived.

Coroner Paul Smith said that it was reasonable to assume that Mr Gibson had climbed the ladder in an attempt to remove a wasp nest, was stung and lost his balance, causing him to fall. A post mortem examination reportedly concluded that Mr Gibson died as a result of anaphylactic shock caused by the wasp sting and a spinal fracture.

Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, Lynne Regent, said:

“We are very saddened to learn about the death of Michael Gibson as a result of this tragic accident and our thoughts are with his family and friends as they process the findings from the inquest into his death.

For a small minority of people, an allergy to the venom in a bee or wasp sting can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. If you experience a severe reaction to a bee or wasp sting, it’s important that you are taken to A&E and afterwards visit your GP as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

If you are allergic to insect stings and find a nest of wasps or bees in your house or garden, we would advise telephoning the local authority or a pest control expert to come and remove the nest to reduce the chance that you will be put at risk.”

You may not have an allergic reaction the first time you’re stung by a wasp or bee but there is a small risk that subsequent stings could lead to a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. In the UK, venom anaphylaxis is the second most frequent cause of anaphylaxis outside medical settings and more people are allergic to wasps than bees.

If you are at risk of insect venom anaphylaxis and would like more information and support please call our national helpline on 01252 542029 or contact

The Anaphylaxis Campaign partners with the Bee Resistant campaign to raise awareness about insect venom anaphylaxis. The campaign provides information on the symptoms to look out for and the range of avoidance and treatment options available to help reduce the risk:

‘Bee aware’ of the symptoms:

  • Feeling unwell and dizzy
  • Rapidly spreading rash
  • Wheezing and a tight chest
  • Swelling of the airways and throat
  • Weakness (caused by a drop in blood pressure)
  • Physical collapse

‘Bee resistant’ by taking steps to reduce the risk:

  • Prevention – follow avoidance advice and tips.
  • Treatment – there are a range of treatment options available on the NHS to treat anaphylaxis which include carrying adrenaline auto-injectors and specialist treatments available from hospital-based allergy clinics.

‘Bee in the know’ – find out more:

  • In the event of a serious allergic reaction, call 999 immediately and state “anaphylaxis”.
  • Consult your GP for further information and guidance.

To find out more about the Bee Resistant campaign visit or follow us on Twitter @BeeResistant or on Facebook at