‘Wrong diagnosis could have killed my baby’

Helen and Sonny Kelham, of The Drift, Barrowby. Helen is angry Grantham Hospital did not pick up how seriously ill Sonny was.
Helen and Sonny Kelham, of The Drift, Barrowby. Helen is angry Grantham Hospital did not pick up how seriously ill Sonny was.
0
Have your say

GRANTHAM Hospital’s ‘transformation programme’ might prevent the kind of terrifying ordeal one Barrowby family went through.

Helen Kelham, of The Drift, has spoken out about the treatment her then seven-week-old baby Sonny received at the hospital’s out-of-hours surgery.

On December 30, she became concerned by his mottled skin, cough, runny nose and bubbling mouth. Calling 111, she was told to take him to out-of-hours. Here, a nurse practitioner carried out a brief check-up. She said Sonny had wind and sent them away.

But the following morning, Sonny’s symptoms worsened and he became “floppy and unresponsive”. An ambulance rushed him to A&E at Lincoln County Hospital.

Mrs Kelham, 32, said: “I realised how serious it was when they jumped at him in A&E. There must have been six or seven doctors and nurses sticking needles and tubes in everywhere.

“I later realised he was admitted for respiratory failure.”

Sonny was diagnosed with bronchiolitis. So serious was his condition, he was raced to the intensive care unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary that same day.

For the next 14 days, Mrs Kelham was heartbroken watching her son wired up to machines.

Chatting to other mothers at the hospital, she realised other children had a milder form of the condition. Mrs Kelham said: “It could’ve been caught sooner. He nearly died because that nurse said he was OK.”

Sonny has made a full recovery and is back home.

Had the integration of A&E and out-of-hours spoken about by director of nursing and patient service Sylvia Knight already been put in place, the family might not have had such an ordeal.

Lacking in confidence, Mrs Kelham said she wants parents to be aware of what happened to Sonny so they can recognise the symptoms themselves.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust said: “We are sorry to hear that the out of hours service at Grantham Hospital did not meet Mrs Kelham’s expectations.”