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Baby under sedation following surgery was ‘neglected’ by Norfolk hospital, mother claims

PUBLISHED: 14:08 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:08 30 October 2018

Baby Finley is awaitiing an operation to open his airways at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge Picture: Sophie White

Baby Finley is awaitiing an operation to open his airways at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge Picture: Sophie White

Sophie White

A mother has criticised a Norfolk hospital over failures she claims led to her baby son being critically ill, hooked up to machines, and needing surgery to help him breathe.

Baby Finley is awaitiing an operation to open his airways at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge Picture: Sophie WhiteBaby Finley is awaitiing an operation to open his airways at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge Picture: Sophie White

Sophie White, can barely hold Finley who is relying on a web of wires to keep him alive in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

The nine-month-old has already suffered more procedures than most people face in a lifetime having been born with his heart valves on the wrong sides.

But his 22-year-old mother of Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth, says this latest episode could have been avoided if medics at Gorleston’s James Paget University Hospital had taken his problems more seriously.

Since moving to the area in June she said her son had been taken to hospital by ambulance at least seven times because of difficulties with his breathing.

Each time, she said, he was sent home and told it was something manageable like croup.

After repeated visits, he was given steroids and a nebuliser which did not help.

On the final occasion it was noted his oxygen levels had dipped and he was kept in, initially on the ward and then in high dependency where he did not seem to improve.

At her insistence he was transferred to Addenbrooke’s where she says doctors properly looked down his throat and saw there was a problem.

Since then he has been given a tracheostomy and undergone a procedure involving taking a piece of rib to widen his airways.

He is currently under sedation.

Although he has not been given an official diagnosis, it is possible the problems stem from infections caused by being ventilated at birth and during heart surgery when he was nine days old, she said.

Miss White said she would be making an official complaint.

“I have been told he is lucky to be alive and that we could be here until Christmas,” she said.

“The operation does have a massive success rate and we are just keeping everything crossed. It is all extremely stressful. I do not know what is going to happen to my child. It is the worst pain possible.

“The neglect that my son received at that hospital was a disgrace and I would not want another parent to have to go through this.”

In a statement a spokesperson for the James Paget University Hospital said: “Our focus is always on delivering the best possible care for our patients. In this particular case, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team can facilitate a meeting with a senior consultant and head of service, who are happy to meet with the family to discuss their concerns.”

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