Fury of parents of 22-month-old boy left fighting for life after they misdiagnose heart disease for tonsillitis
Parents said Harry was unresponsive and sick at the clinic and had terrible breathing problems
09:51 GMT, 6 July 2012
A couple have accused medics of diagnosing their critically ill 22-month-old son with tonsillitis – when he actually needs a heart transplant to keep him alive.
Sean and Lisa Robb said they rushed their son Harry to a minor injuries unit in Ipswich, Suffolk, after he developed severe breathing problems on June 3.
But he was sent home with penicillin after doctors wrongly diagnosed him with tonsillitis. His condition worsened during the day and his frantic parents called an ambulance.
Waiting for a transplant: Harry is struggling to survive at the Evelina Hospital in London
Harry was rushed to Ipswich hospital where he continued to deteriorate and two days later he was sent to the Evelina Hospital in London.
There medics told Sean and
Lisa were told their son had dilated cardiomyopathy and that his organ was operating at just 17 per cent
of its normal function. The condition means he desperately needs a heart transplant.
Mr Robb said: 'It is devastating. He was critically ill and they (Riverside Clinic) sent us away telling us he had tonsillitis.
Lisa Robb with her critically-ill son Harry. He has dilated cardiomyopathy which means his heart can't pump blood efficiently
'Harry was unresponsive and sick at the clinic and he had terrible breathing problems.
'We are just so angry and disappointed that we put our trust in the system – we should have just gone straight to A&E.'
Robb said he and Lisa initially called the out-of-hours service, run by
Harmoni, and were told to take distressed Harry to the minor injuries
unit, where he was misdiagnosed.
heart had to be restarted after he went to intensive care at Ipswich
Hospital, before he was transferred the the specialist Evelina Hospital
family's problems continued after he was transferred back to a general
ward at Ipswich after showing a slight improvement.
Mr Robb, a father-of-four said: 'When he came back to Ipswich they put him in a bay with 12 other kids.
'He was supposed to be in isolation because he had been transferred from another hospital. Three days later he had got much worse but the whole day only one nurse came to check on him.
'My wife and I kept asking if a doctor was coming to see him but they never did. /07/06/article-2169596-13F2BA71000005DC-967_634x412.jpg” width=”634″ height=”412″ alt=”Anxious wait: Mr Robb with his other three children” class=”blkBorder” />
Anxious wait: Mr Robb with his other three children
Sean has now filed an official complaint against the minor injuries unit.
A spokesperson for Harmoni, which operated the out-of-hours service at the time, said: 'Our aim is to always deliver a first class service to patients.
'Any complaint is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
'When this investigation is complete we will contact Mr and Mrs Robb with our findings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further in public on an individual patient's circumstances but our best wishes go to the family at what must be a distressing time for them.'
An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said: 'We are sorry to hear that Harry's family don't feel the care he received here at Ipswich Hospital was appropriate.
'We would like the family to contact us in order that we can meet and discuss this with them.'