You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it! Mother Of Nine-month Old Boy Who Died Hours After Coming Home From Hospital When He Was Misdiagnosed With 'tonsillitis' Says She's 'frightened To Love Her New Baby' - 247Updates

Mother of nine-month old boy who died hours after coming home from hospital when he was misdiagnosed with ‘tonsillitis’ says she’s ‘frightened to love her new baby’

The parents of a nine-month-old baby died who died after misdiagnosis have revealed how they have struggled to bond with their new baby after the heartbreaking loss of their first....CONTINUE READING

Lucas Thomas Munslow, from Flint, north Wales was discharged from hospital with what doctors thought was tonsillitis. Later that same day, he passed away from acute bacterial meningitis.

By the time the little boy was rushed back to hospital, after suffering a seizure in his mother’s arms, it was too late.

A recent inquest found Lucas’ death was probably preventable. His parents Kim and Nathan took legal action against the health board and are awaiting compensation.

Kim, 39, says that she hopes speaking about tragedy will help save other lives.

Lucas Thomas Munslow (pictured), from Flint, north Wales was discharged from hospital with what doctors thought was tonsillitis. Later that same day, he passed away from acute bacterial meningitis

His parents Kim and Nathan, pictured, took legal action against the health board and are awaiting compensation

Nathan and Kim have since welcomed Louis, Lloyd and their baby sister Lacey

‘Lucas was a happy, smiley, little boy, he was our first child and we loved him so much,’ Kim says.

‘To add to our agony, after he died, we had to be interviewed by police and our home was searched.

‘They took Lucas’ favourite blanket, and it felt like a violation.

‘I was heavily pregnant and gave birth to our second son just two months later; we welcomed a new life, yet we were still grieving for Lucas.

‘We recently had a third son and he looked so much like Lucas that at first, I was frightened to bond with him.

‘I could not let myself love him, in case he too, was snatched away.

‘We trusted the doctors with Lucas, and they let us down in the worst way possible. It took five years for the hospital to admit they were wrong. Even now, we have not had an apology.

‘Our hope is that lessons will be learned, and lives will be saved.’

Kim says she’s struggled to bond with her children after Lucas’ death. Her second and third sons Louis and Lloyd are pictured

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Lucas is pictured before his illness

Lucas was the couple’s first child and was a happy and healthy baby.

Kim had previously been diagnosed with PCOS and had been warned she would struggle to have children.

Nathan, 40, added: ‘We’d resigned ourselves to maybe never being parents and so Lucas was our little miracle.

‘He was an absolute joy. He loved his food, especially ice-cream.’

But on May 14, 2019, he became unwell with a high temperature and vomiting.

Their GP diagnosed a viral infection and prescribed rehydration sachets. But Lucas gradually deteriorated and on May 17, his parents took him to Glan Clwyd hospital.

Kim says: ‘He was burning up, yet his hands and feet were cold. He was lethargic, he had little appetite, and his eye was turning in. He was clinging to us as if he was frightened.

‘We were assessed before being taken to a tiny treatment room without a window. We waited for around two hours before two doctors checked him over and sent us home around 1am with a throat spray to treat tonsilitis.

Lucas is pictured in hospital before his death

‘I felt slightly fobbed off, I was worried. But I was also reassured by the doctors. I trusted them.’

Later that same day, Lucas suffered a major seizure in his mother’s arms. He was rushed back to hospital where doctors battled to revive him.

Nathan says: ‘We cannot fault the paramedics or the team who tried to save him. The doctor told us he suspected meningitis, but it was too late to save him.’

The couple’s agony was intensified when police seized their house keys and refused to allow them access until they had conducted a search.

Kim says: ‘We were interviewed by police at the hospital and our home was trashed.

‘Lucas’s favourite blue Giraffe blanket was gone, they had been through our bin to take his nappies, they’d taken his bottles and milk.’

A postmortem confirmed Lucas had died from acute bacterial meningitis.

Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

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Anyone can be affected but at-risk people include those aged under five, 15-to-24 and over 45.

People exposed to passive smoking or with suppressed immune systems, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy, are also more at risk.

The most common forms of meningitis are bacterial and viral.

Symptoms for both include:

Pale, blotchy skin with a rash that does not fade when compressed with a glassStiff neckDislike of bright lights Fever, and cold hands and feetVomitingDrowsiness Severe headacheHeadache is one of the main symptoms

Bacterial meningitis

Bacterial meningitis requires urgent treatment at hospital with antibiotics.

Some 10 per cent of bacterial cases are fatal.

Of those who survive, one in three suffer complications, including brain damage and hearing loss.

Limb amputation is a potential side effect if septicaemia (blood poisoning) occurs.

Vaccines are available against certain strains of bacteria that cause meningitis, such as tuberculosis.

Viral meningitis

Viral is rarely life-threatening but can cause long-lasting effects, such as headaches, fatigue and memory problems.

Thousands of people suffer from viral meningitis every year in the UK.

Treatment focuses on hydration, painkillers and rest.

Although ineffective, antibiotics may be given when patients arrive at hospital just in case they are suffering from the bacterial form of the disease.

Nathan says: ‘We felt so angry he wasn’t diagnosed earlier. We made a complaint to the hospital, but they refused to accept responsibility.’

The couple’s second son, Louis, now four, was born two months later. They have since had a third son, Lloyd, aged two and a half, and a daughter, Lacey, aged eight weeks.

Kim says: ‘Each new arrival is bittersweet. Lloyd’s birth was traumatic because he looked so much like Lucas, I was frightened to bond with him.’

An inquest at Ruthin Coroners Court in November 2023 heard Lucas was categorised in hospital as a yellow case to be seen in an hour, rather than orange, to be seen in 10 minutes.

Nurse practitioner Carol Stevenson noted he was ‘stiff and vacant’ and had a squint in the waiting room.

An inquest at Ruthin Coroners Court in November 2023 heard Lucas (pictured) was categorised in hospital as a yellow case to be seen in an hour, rather than orange, to be seen in 10 minutes

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Nathan, pictured with Lucas, says he angry he wasn’t diagnosed earlier

An on-call doctor Kayode-Awe Olugbemiga diagnosed tonsillitis after noticing a red throat.

Dr Olugbemiga said there were no ‘red flags’ that anything else was wrong with him and his senior Dr Solabomi Alalade also examined Lucas before discharging him.

He was released at 1am on May 18 but his parents called 999 at around 6.30pm the same day after he suffered a seizure. He died in hospital soon after.

John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales East and Central, said ‘poor practice’ had been exhibited by staff, and it is ‘probable’ that Lucas’ death could have been prevented.

Mr Gittins recorded a narrative conclusion.

The family has now accepted compensation from the health board.

Kim says: ‘The money is an insult, but we don’t want to fight this anymore. Nothing will bring him back.

Kim, pictured with Lucas, says she hopes speaking about the tragedy will save lives

‘We read the apology in the local paper, but nobody has apologised to us personally. We haven’t even had a letter through the post.

‘We hope lessons can be learned from Lucas’ death. We hope to raise awareness of meningitis and we would like all medical staff to appreciate how important it is to conduct a thorough examination and to listen to parents.

‘We talk about Lucas every day, he lives on through his two brothers and his sister. But we miss him every day.’

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB)’s executive medical director, Dr Nick Lyons, said: ‘Firstly, I would like to offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Lucas’ parents and wider family, on behalf of the health board.

We accept the coroner’s findings unreservedly and have already reviewed the circumstances surrounding Lucas’s treatment and identified where we can improve our diagnostic procedures in extremely rare cases such as this.

‘However, we will look closely at the coroner’s comments from his finding of fact, to see if there are additional areas of learning which will help patients in the future.’