A baby boy died less than two days after hospital staff allegedly sent him home with a “virus” and told his mum to give him paracetamol.
Devastated parents Hannah Duncan and Jamie Riley now face the agony of laying Leon to rest at his funeral two days after Christmas. The little boy’s gran Lorri Duncan, 42, claims Hannah was told to give him Calpol.
She said she doesn’t blame the staff but blames the ‘under pressure’ NHS.
Hannah took eight-month-old Leon to Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Fife, after he’d been poorly and wheezing for six weeks. His death, less than 48 hours later, has been recorded as unexplained, “pending investigation”. NHS Fife said it could not comment on individual cases but offered condolences to the family.
Lorri said: “We don’t blame the nurses that were on that day. We blame the NHS.
Leon’s mum Hannah had been told her son was suffering from a viral infection and advised to give him paracetamol, said Lorri, of Kirkcaldy.
“They said to give him Calpol and feed him his bottle via a syringe,” she said. “The way we were looking at it, because we’d already been told to give him Calpol, it (his temperature) should have gone down, but it was still at 39C.
“They said to Hannah it was a viral infection on top of a viral infection.
Lorri said Leon had been poorly for six weeks and they took him to hospital because he was wheezing. The family said while he was there his heart rate dropped but later returned to normal. “We want to know why his heart rate dropped and why he was sent home,” said Lorri.
“We’re not looking to blame anyone, but at the end of the day he was unwell for so long.
“We don’t want to be angry about it, we just want to know why.”
Leon’s death leaves mum Hannah and dad Jamie Riley, 20, mourning their child as Christmas approaches. Lorri said her partner, Andy Boyle, who was Leon’s “papa” also played a big role in the little boy’s life. A crowdfunder has been set up on the gofundme website to help Hannah, who has moved home and is rebuilding her life while she looks after Leon’s older brother Devon, two.Here is the web site link should you wish to donate:
The family has planned to celebrate Leon’s life on December 27, when his funeral takes place. People have been encouraged to “line the road” as he makes his final journey along Westwood Avenue, wear bright colours and bring balloons.
“We’re celebrating Leon’s life. We’re not going to be depressing,” said Lorri.
“We were privileged to know him for eight months and we’re proud parents and grandparents.
“He was the most cracking and bubbliest little boy. He would laugh at everything.
“Even in the last couple of days when he wasn’t well, he was still laughing.
“This is Leon’s first Christmas and we want people to wear Christmas clothes. We don’t want black.”
NHS Fife chief executive Paul Hawkins said: “The death of any child is a tragedy and our hearts go out to the family involved. “Unfortunately, we are unable to discuss matters relating to the child for reasons of patient confidentiality.”