Seamus Edney at S J Edney Solicitors is acting for the parents of Master Elliott Morley (now aged 8) in connection with a claim for clinical negligence against Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust arising from treatment which he received at Great Western Hospital on the 28 June 2014 when he was only aged 2½.
Briefly, Elliott had been unwell for a few days. He attended the A&E department at the hospital with a high temperature and fever. He began to shake and had a raised heart and respiratory rate. He was clearly unwell. His parents were told that he had an ear infection and he was discharged.
It is our case that Elliott should have been admitted at hospital, kept under careful observation and prescribed antibiotics. Later on the 02 July 2014, he had to be readmitted to hospital as an emergency as he was suffering from bacterial meningitis and had suffered a right sided stroke. His admission to hospital on the 28 June 2014 may have avoided this outcome.
Proceedings have been issued in the High Court in London. The hospital have indicated that they will be contesting the claim.
Please see below a statement his parents would like to appear on our website warning other parents of the dangers of meningitis. They believe their instincts on Elliott were right and they feel terribly let down by the doctors at the hospital on the 28 June 2014.
STATEMENT of NICK and SOPHIE MORLEY, PARENTS OF ELLIOTT
Our beautiful little boy, Elliott, was born healthy in December of 2011. When he was aged 2½ he fell gravely ill with bacterial Meningitis which resulted in a stroke. The resulting brain injury damaged Elliott permanently and he now has to live with the devastating consequences for the rest of his life. What happened to our little boy should never have happened and whilst the aftercare by the NHS has been excellent, we feel that we have been let down by the NHS in a very big way because none of what happened to Elliott should have happened.
A mother and father know when there is something seriously wrong with their child and although we tried our best to convey this to professionals, we were not listened to. We feel that as parents we did everything we could have reasonably done in the circumstances. When Elliott became ill with a temperature that just could not be calmed down using Calpol or Ibuprofen, we contacted NHS 111, our GP and our local hospital Great Western Hospital. Eventually, after an agonising seven days, Elliott was admitted as an emergency to hospital.
Elliott now has to live with left sided hemiplegia. This means that he is unable to use his left hand and has very little use of his arm. Walking is difficult and he walks with a gait and his foot points inwards. When he falls, he is unable to break his fall as he does not have the reflexes available to him. He has to wear a splint on his arm and his leg every day.
Recently he spent six weeks in a series of casts in order to stretch his leg. Among the many daily problems which we now deal with are poor balance and fatigue. He gets about five times more tired than that of a child without his neurological difficulties.
He suffers tremendously with anxiety. He is unable to take part in many activities that other children of his age are able to do. It breaks our heart to see Elliott self-selecting himself out of any activity that has the potential to knock him off balance or those which he is unable to participate in.
We hope that anybody reading this never has to go through what Elliott or we as his parents have gone through. However, if you do, you must not be afraid to ask questions or push as hard as you need to get your voice heard. Your child’s life may just depend upon it.
Elliott is now 8½ years old and we live daily with the devastating consequences of what has happened. We grieved for the loss of the son we had. In many ways Elliott is now a happy 8 year old boy who loves playing on his tablet and his soft toys but his daily struggles of fatigue and balance and his need for others to assist him in the everyday two handed tasks that you and I take for granted, tell a very different story.
We have been denied the pleasures of teaching our son to ride a bike as he has no balance and because he only has use of one arm. We are not able to enjoy long walks or allow him the freedom to be as independent as his peers because he is simply not able to. Elliott cannot attend all birthday parties of his friends as many activities are inaccessible to him.
COVID 19 has brought many challenges to many people. We were told to isolate Elliott early on because he was at moderate risk of the virus, being very serious if he contracted it.
There are numerous hospital visits and visits to various paediatric professionals to contend with and the daily management of Elliott’s level of fatigue because recovery from exertion can take days.
Elliott did not have a rash. Everybody thinks there is a rash with Meningitis. This is not true. Elliott never had a rash. At one point when Elliott was in intensive care we did not know whether he would live through the night. It was the most horrendous experience in our lives.