The two women were visibly emotional in court as the coroner told them the toddler, who had enlarged tonsils, had been let down by the NHS but that earlier intervention might not have saved his life.
An inquest into James’s death previously heard that Butlin’s staff did not help when the youngster began choking outside a restaurant at the popular resort, a claim the holiday company does not accept.
Paramedics racing to aid the toddler were forced to abandon their ambulance and dash to the scene on foot after finding the road blocked by closed gates and bollards, the hearing was told.
On Friday, assistant coroner Karen Harrold concluded that James’s death was accidental.
She said: “The NHS did let James down as an earlier intervention may have reduced the chances of James choking on 6th of June, but I cannot conclude that James’s life would have been saved by an earlier intervention.
“This was a fast-moving, distressing incident for everyone involved in the effort to save James’s life.”
She added the gravity of the circumstances meant earlier intervention from the paramedics could not have saved his life, and that everyone at Butlin’s did their best for him.
Turning to his mother and grandmother, Mrs Harrold said the conclusion of accidental death was “in no way intended to trivialise what can only be described as a horrendous occasion that occurred on the 6th of June and I am sure will remain with you for life”.
She added: “My heart goes out to you.”
James’s grandmother Angela Knight had claimed that had James had earlier treatment, he would still be alive.
The coroner also made a number of recommendations for improvement following James’s death, including calling on Butlin’s to develop a national system for managing health and safety across its sites.
James’s mother Natalie Reeves bowed her head as the coroner told the hearing in Crawley, West Sussex, about the lead-up to his death.
She and members of her family wore T-shirts dedicated to her son, with hers reading “Justice For James”.