Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Family heartbroken after child dies just 48 hours after being discharged

A grieving mum has been left devastated after her six-year-old daughter who was discharged from hospital with tonsillitis died just two days later.

Maya Siek’s mother insisted her daughter was severely unwell after she collapsed twice. But after being discharged from hospital in December 2022, the “king and helpful” child later died in her stepfather’s arms.

Now the once “happy family” have been left heartbroken after losing their beloved daughter and sister.

Maya’s heart stopped beating after she suffered acute myocardial necrosis – death of the organ’s cells.

But pathologists have been unable to establish exact causes. A paediatric consultant responsible for safeguarding children told Maya’s family it was likely triggered by sepsis.

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Now her mum Magdalena Wisniewska, 26, is calling for someone to take responsibility for her daughter’s death. She said she has barely left the house since losing her daughter on December 21, 2022. Maya’s six year old brother, Nathan, has also been left devastated by the loss.

The family have decided to keep the Christmas tree Maya decorated in her last days in their living room.

Mum Ms Wisniewska, of Margate, Kent, said: “We were just a happy family with plans and ambitions for our children’s future, but we are not the same family anymore. We completely lost the will to live but we are here because we have to take care of another child, but our life is ruined and will never be the same again.”

The family were looking forward to Christmas at home when Maya fell ill on December 18 – she was tired, weak and cold to touch, with no appetite. The next day Ms Wisniewska booked an appointment with a GP but, as they prepared to leave their home, Maya collapsed.

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She was taken to the QEQM Hospital, Margate, where she was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Doctors told her she could go home with antibiotics but she collapsed again before she was discharged.

Ms Wisniewska said: “I asked the doctor about Maya’s tummy pain, white tongue, pale colour and her body being freezing cold to touch, but he said this was normal with tonsilitis. Maya was also vomiting in the hospital bed, so they gave her an anti-sickness injection and we came back home.”

The pupil at Holy Trinity & St John’s Primary had a sleepless night in which she was given two doses of antibiotics, and continued to complain of stomach pain, thirst and dizziness. By the morning her mother called 999, scared because Maya was too weak to stand unaided. She was taken back to QEQM by ambulance.

Following a negative Covid test she was diagnosed with influenza and put on a drip, still pale and cold. By 3pm she was admitted to a children’s ward complaining of serious stomach pain, having been unable to urinate for two days.

Clinical staff reportedly reassured the family that Maya’s symptoms were not cause for significant concern, adding she should be fine to return home the following day. Ms Wisniewska said she tried repeatedly to flag that her daughter was behaving strangely, even reporting she could see monkeys that weren’t there.

That night Maya again could not sleep and her mother tried to comfort her as she begged for water that was being rationed on a doctor’s nil-by-mouth order. On December 21, after another sleepless night, Ms Wisniewska raised concerns with staff yet again, reportedly warning them of her daughter’s shaky breathing, discoloured skin and disorientation. The mum claimed clinicians told her that Maya just needed a good rest. Staff were said to have taken her daughter’s heart monitor off because they were concerned the beeping was disrupting her sleep.

At 3pm, as staff attempted to take a blood sample while Maya was helped by her stepdad, her heart stopped beating. Her mum said: “After a few seconds Maya went silent and my partner found out she had stopped breathing. At this point no one else even reacted as if something had happened, but [my partner] asked for help. Then all the other staff gathered in our room. They found out Maya’s heart had stopped beating.

“They started resuscitation to save her and her heart came back for a few seconds, but then it stopped beating again. This time Maya passed away. On the day before she passed she was very pale in colour and she said to me ‘Mummy, I think I’m going to die’, and I said don’t say that Maya. We asked them for help because she was saying strange things like she could see a monkey moving on the wall. We tried to tell the doctor and the nurse but nobody listened to us. And then her heart stopped beating.”

Her partner, Raj Blande, said he will never forget those moments. He said: “Maya took her last breath in my hands. I just can’t get over it – I don’t think I ever will. There were tons of people treating her but none of them could find out what it was until it was too late. Nothing can bring us our daughter back and I know our lives will never be the same. As her stepdad I just feel guilty as I wish I could have done anything differently, as when I look back the red flags were there.”

The family met the East Kent Hospitals Trust’s chief executive, Tracey Fletcher, on December 28. They were told an investigation would be carried out into Maya’s death. In March an independent consultant paediatrician said it was likely influenza developed into sepsis, producing lethal toxins affecting Maya’s heart. An inquest into the young girl’s death was opened last month, but was adjourned until September 25 for a review to be completed.

Jane Dickson, the chief nursing officer at East Kent Hospitals, said: “I am so sorry to Maya’s family for their loss. We are undertaking a thorough investigation into Maya’s care to assist us in providing answers to Maya’s family as well as ensuring we know where we need to do things differently and ensure lessons are learned. We will continue to work with and update Maya’s family as part of the investigation.”

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