A SHATTERED mum claims she was branded “dramatic” by a paramedics shortly before her baby son died.
Heartbroken Muna Aburizeq has told how she pleaded with hospital staff not to send her baby home – just hours before his death from meningitis and sepsis.
She called an ambulance for her three-month-old son, Mohammad Aldmour, after he suddenly fell ill at home.
But the little boy was later discharged by doctors despite Muna begging them to admit him, an inquest heard last week.
Hours later, he developed a meningitis rash and his panic-stricken mother called a second ambulance and asked them to take him back to hospital.
Paramedics spent almost forty minutes at the family home and when he eventually arrived at hospital, his devastated mum told staff: “It is too late now.”
He went into cardiac arrest and died soon afterwards, with her by his side.
Muna, 37, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, said tonight: “I told the doctors in no uncertain terms that I did not want to take my baby home.
“I knew he was seriously ill, but they wouldn’t listen. A mother’s instinct is a very powerful one, and if they had taken notice, Mohammad would still be alive today.”
“When I called an ambulance a second time, the paramedic seemed far more interested in filling out his paperwork than he was in treating Mohammad.
“I told him Mohammad had a rash and blue lips and he actually accused me of being dramatic.
“By the time we arrived at hospital, I knew it was too late. I will never forgive the staff who treated him.”
Muna and her husband Emad had been trying for a baby for 11 years and she had suffered five miscarriages, before Mohammad finally came along in May 2018.
By the time we arrived at hospital, I knew it was too late. I will never forgive the staff who treated him.
She told: “My son was just starting out in life, we had so many hopes and dreams for him, but they failed him at the time he needed them the most.
“I look back on those three months of motherhood and they were so perfect, so full of joy. Now, it feels like a dream.
“My heart aches to hold my son again, and it gets no easier as time passes.”
Muna’s husband was working abroad and she moved with her sister, Fatmeh, a teaching assistant, and her two young daughters.
In September 2018, Mohammad had been on his first went with his mum to take his cousins to school.
He had seemed well all day until late afternoon when he vomited violently after a feed.
His temperature suddenly shot up, his lips turned blue and his mother and aunt were immediately concerned.
He was taken to Tameside General Hospital, Manchester, by ambulance where Muna was unable to settle him.
She says: “I was becoming alarmed at how distressed he was.
“A doctor told me he just had a cold virus, and that he could go home. I was very polite.
“But I said to her: ‘I know my baby and he is not right, and I really don’t want to take him home.’”
WHAT IS MENINGITIS?
It can easily be mistaken for flu or a hangover in adults, but knowing the signs of meningitis can prove life-saving.
The deadly disease can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young kids and young adults.
Meningitis causes an inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord and can be triggered by bacteria or a virus.
If it is not treated quickly meningitis can develop in deadly septicaemia, or blood poisoning, that can cause permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
Around 3,200 people a year are diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and one in 10 die or are left with life-changing disabilities.
Viral forms of meningitis are less common and rarely life-threatening.
What are the key symptoms?
The symptoms of meningitis can develop very quickly, and include:
- a high fever – over 37.5 degrees (the average temperature)
- being sick
- a headache
- a blotchy rash that won’t fade when a glass is rolled over it
- stiffness, especially in the neck
- drowsiness, irritability or a lack of energy
- cold hands and feet
In babies the symptoms can be slightly different, they may:
- refuse to eat
- be agitated and not want to be picked up
- having a bulging soft spot on their head
- be floppy and inresponsive
- have an unusual, high-pitched cry
- have a stiff body
Source: Meningitis Research Foundation
She added: “I was insistent but the most they would do was keep him for a further two hours.
“During that time nobody checked on him at all and then we were discharged.
“I felt absolutely helpless. I trusted the doctors, but I felt they weren’t listening to me.”
At home Mohammad became increasingly agitated and at 4am, Muna noticed a rash on her son’s stomach. She called another ambulance.
But when paramedics arrived, they spent around 20 minutes in the house and a further 17 outside the house, before eventually taking the little boy to hospital.
At an inquest into Mohammad’s death, held last week at South Manchester Coroner’s Court, a jury concluded there was a “gross failure” by Tameside General Hospital.
The coroner, Alison Mutch, recorded a conclusion that the baby died of natural causes contributed to by neglect.
The jury unanimously agreed that a number of failings during the first visit to hospital had contributed to Mohammad’s death.
Ms Mutch also acknowledged a series of failings by the North West Ambulance Service Crew.
Victoria Beel, of Slater and Gordon, who represents the family, said: “The tragedy here is that Mohammad’s mother did absolutely everything right but she was let down by the professionals who failed to act on the very clear warning signs.”
A spokesman for Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We fully accept the Jury’s findings today; and as a result, the lessons we have learned from our internal investigation; a number of changes have been implemented to secure further improvements in our pathways of care.”
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Director of operations for North West Ambulance Service, Ged Blezard said: “Whilst we understand that the care provided to Mohammad did not contribute to his death, we are deeply sorry that the care provided to him was not to the standard that we would expect.
“Lessons have been learnt and following a full and comprehensive internal review, changes have been made to ensure better future care for our patients.”