6-year-old boy dies of meningitis after parademic dismisses illness and accuses child of trying to 'milk' it
Georgie Hall, the boy's mother, detailed how her concerns were repeatedly ignored by doctors and paramedics in the hours leading up to her son's death
The death of a six-year-old boy in October 2017 could have been prevented if doctors and paramedics took the mother's concerns more seriously, an inquest has heard recently.
According to the Daily Mail, the Suffolk Coroner's Court heard 38-year-old primary school teacher Georgie Hall speak about how her worries about the worsening condition of her son, Ollie, were brushed off by medical professionals. She recalled, in particular, how one paramedic even rolled his eyes at her and told her the boy was trying to "milk" his illness.
Georgie, who is now seven months pregnant, first developed concerns over Ollie after he complained on the evening of October 22 of having a headache and a sore jaw. The next morning, he said he had a stomach ache and had a high temperature, with his condition worsening as the day progressed.
A rash then appeared on his body and his breathing became faster and shallower, with a dispatcher with the NHS 111 helpline advising her to call an ambulance. However, when EMS arrived and she told paramedics, Graham Scott and Oliver Denby, that she was worried her son might have meningitis, she was mocked.
Georgie told the inquest that Scott was "quite abrupt" and that he asked her if she was going on the internet to check her son's symptoms. She also said they completely ruled out the possibility of meningitis and that Scott began "mimicking" the "grunting sound" her son was making. She and her husband, Bryan, decided to take the six-year-old to Cutlers Hill surgery for a second opinion but were told by multiple doctors that they had nothing to worry about and that their son had a "normal child's virus."
When she tried to claim that the rashes did not disappear under the "glass test" — a test that can determine if someone is suffering from meningitis based on whether the rashes disappear when pressured by a glass — she said Scott made a snide remark about how they "mostly dealt with over-anxious mothers." She also alleged that he kept trying to interrupt her and persuade her that her son was fine and that when they were walking out of the surgery and her son tripped, he remarked, "Oh, he is going to milk this."
"I said I was worried about meningitis and they assured me he was well enough to return home. They rejected meningitis out of hand. I was told everything was fine. I was made to feel I had to trust the medical professionals," she told the court.
Ollie's condition worsened as the day wore on but she said she didn't feel the need to take action thanks to the reassurances she had previously received. At 6:20 pm on October 23, she decided to take him back to the hospital, where one doctor finally conceded the six-year-old might be suffering from meningitis and gave him a shot of penicillin. But it was too late.
A specialist team of medics was summoned from London to transfer him to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but before he could be transferred, he went into cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated three times but his heart stopped again and he passed away at 2 am on October 24.
Professor Nigel Klein, a professor of infectious disease at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, said that he believed Oliver could have survived if he had been treated sooner.
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