Mother airs concerns over daughter’s death

Mother airs concerns over daughter’s death

Mother airs concerns over daughter’s death

First published in News

CONCERNS have been raised that more could have been done to prevent the death of a young Taunton woman, after an inquest was told she had been ill for four weeks before she was admitted to hospital.

An inquest last week heard 24-yearold Natalie Hunter was severely dehydrated and had not eaten or been to the toilet for four weeks by the time she arrived at Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital.

Doctors believe she may have suffered a septic shock but were unable to find out what caused it.

Giving evidence at the inquest in Taunton last Thursday, Natalie’s mother, Deborah, said her daughter had been suffering from flu-like symptoms and hadn’t eaten for four weeks prior to going into hospital.

She also told the inquest Natalie was severely autistic, with very limited speech, so would have struggled to explain what was wrong with her.

Mrs Hunter said: “The first week she was ill she hadn’t eaten all week, which was very unusual for her.

“She was still drinking plenty and watching her DVDs but I called the doctor because I was concerned.

“But they said that they wouldn’t come out and that it was normal if someone had the flu for them not to eat.”

Natalie’s parents continued to call her doctors at St James Medical Centre into the second and third week of her being unwell.

She still had not eaten and was drinking less.

Mrs Hunter said: “I kept trying to tempt her into eating but I couldn’t.

“She would usually drink milk with her breakfast but all she was drinking was lemonade ... she would just spit everything else out.

“Dr Martin came out to see her and told us she was fine and was not dehydrated.

“But she was only drinking a few tumblers of liquid and I had to use a syringe to get her to drink.

“She had not been out of bed for a few days and we were given a chair by the doctors to get her out of bed.”

Natalie’s parents were also concerned that she had not been to the toilet.

The court heard how she had problems going to the toilet when she was younger but had overcome these problems in recent years.

After four weeks of no improvement, Natalie was finally admitted to Musgrove Park Hospital on February 18.

Mrs Hunter added: “I feel like noone was listening to us or our concerns.

“Natalie couldn’t speak for herself and explain what was wrong.

“If she wasn’t autistic she would have been able to say how she felt.”

Dr Richard Gibbs from Musgrove Park Hospital told the inquest: “Natalie was extremely unwell when she was admitted.

“We decided to operate to get rid of the build-up of faeces.

“We operated late that evening – the build-up was large because she hadn’t been for so long.”

But her condition continued to deteriorate and Natalie died the following day.

Dr Gibbs explained they believed Natalie was suffering from septic shock but that they couldn’t find the cause.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose said: “I am confident that once Natalie was admitted to hospital, they did everything they could there to try and help her, but sadly, her condition was irreversible.

“What concerns me is that perhaps more could have been done before and maybe her symptoms were overlooked because family members had had the flu.

“I will be speaking to a medical advisor and asking for Natalie’s doctors to give evidence.”

The inquest was adjourned to November/December of this year.

A spokesman for St James Medical Centre told the County Gazette it would not be appropriate to comment at this stage.

Comments (3)

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10:13am Sun 31 Aug 14

butaylor says...

My daughter was also very ill several years ago when she was 4 yŕs old with a very high fever and she stopped eating and was just laying on the sofa , this went on for 3 weeks and 3 trips to the doctor just to bè told it was a viral infection and it will go on it's own but mother's instinct told me something was seriously wrong and on a fourth trip to the doctors he finally agreed to admit her to musgrove park hospital. She was put straight on a drip as she was dehydrated and tests revealed she had a very bad bacterial infection in her stomach so was put on intravenous antibiotics and had to have two lots of pain killers to bring her temperature down, she very nearly died but fortunately we caught her just in time for the hospital treatment to save her life, but if I hadn't been so persistent with the doctors she wouldn't be here today. My heart goes out to the parents of Natalie. Always trust your instincts and be persistent with doctors
My daughter was also very ill several years ago when she was 4 yŕs old with a very high fever and she stopped eating and was just laying on the sofa , this went on for 3 weeks and 3 trips to the doctor just to bè told it was a viral infection and it will go on it's own but mother's instinct told me something was seriously wrong and on a fourth trip to the doctors he finally agreed to admit her to musgrove park hospital. She was put straight on a drip as she was dehydrated and tests revealed she had a very bad bacterial infection in her stomach so was put on intravenous antibiotics and had to have two lots of pain killers to bring her temperature down, she very nearly died but fortunately we caught her just in time for the hospital treatment to save her life, but if I hadn't been so persistent with the doctors she wouldn't be here today. My heart goes out to the parents of Natalie. Always trust your instincts and be persistent with doctors butaylor
  • Score: 7

11:11am Sun 31 Aug 14

TauntonBloke29 says...

Very sad. However, Doctors can't do it all can they? They aren't capable of diagnosing everything and this case is has its own complications and past history to consider. Not going to the toilet for 4 week should cause enough alarm on its own? All very odd. I hope the Doctors don't get blamed for this as we have only heard one side of the story in this report.
Very sad. However, Doctors can't do it all can they? They aren't capable of diagnosing everything and this case is has its own complications and past history to consider. Not going to the toilet for 4 week should cause enough alarm on its own? All very odd. I hope the Doctors don't get blamed for this as we have only heard one side of the story in this report. TauntonBloke29
  • Score: 2

3:14am Mon 1 Sep 14

ladybird14 says...

I am so sorry to hear this i also go to the same doctor who was called out i have to say he has been very good with me and i have been very poorly this last year.
I am so sorry to hear this i also go to the same doctor who was called out i have to say he has been very good with me and i have been very poorly this last year. ladybird14
  • Score: 2
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