A mum has claimed doctors in Aberdeen missed signs her daughter was desperately ill – just days before she was flown to intensive care in Edinburgh.
Little Keira Leslie was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh after she began struggling to breathe and became lethargic.
The 18-month-old tot has now been diagnosed with type one congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM), a cystic mass which forms in the lung tissue of a baby in the womb.
Next month, she will undergo surgery to have part of her lung removed to get rid of the “seven or eight large cysts” that are pressing on her other organs and making it difficult for her to breathe.
But last night, her mother Kylie Thomas hit out at NHS Grampian for missing the signs that something was wrong with her daughter.
She claims she took the toddler to Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, but although doctors ran tests they found nothing wrong and Keira was discharged on November 5.
But within hours, Keira took a turn for the worse as the family waited for a train home to Moray.
Miss Thomas said: “I was strapping my other son into the buggy when all of a sudden Keira’s lips went blue and she became extremely pale. Her body went floppy and her feet were extremely cold.
“I actually thought she was dying. It was like I was watching the life drain away from her.
“She stopped breathing for 30 seconds – the security guards rushed over as I was screaming for help and crying.”
The security guards managed to get her breathing again, and she was taken back to RACH with acute wheeze – but again discharged.
Miss Thomas, who believes staff in Aberdeen missed a black shadow on Keira’s lung that showed up in x-rays, claims staff made her feel like she was “overreacting”.
She said: “I was trying to get them to do something and they treated me like I was overreacting and being paranoid.
“They told me I was being confrontational.
“I was just sticking up for my daughter – I was being my daughter’s voice.”
After being discharged the second time the family returned home to Moray, but still concerned Miss Thomas asked her partner to take Keira to her local GP on November 8.
From there, she was quickly transferred to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin before an ambulance raced her to Lossiemouth, where a plane was waiting to fly her to Edinburgh’s sick kids.
After being admitted, the toddler was put on medication for two viruses – rhinovirus and bronchiolitis – and had a breathing tube inserted.
She was then sedated and had to have physiotherapy chest pumps to get mucus out of her four times a day.
She will now under go an operation on December 10 to have the cysts removed from her lungs.
Miss Thomas said: “I was right all along that something was wrong with Keira. I believe Aberdeen neglected my daughter.
“She was absolutely exhausted and putting everything into her breathing, but they still discharged her.
“Keira had a life-threatening illness that could have cost her life and they discharged her.
“I could have lost my daughter because Aberdeen didn’t do the proper checks.
“I’m just so glad and thankful to Edinburgh sick kids hospital for saving my baby, especially the ITU staff. If Dr Gray’s hadn’t taken those measures, she might not be alive today, I’m so thankful to them.”
Miss Thomas said she plans to formally complain to NHS Grampian now Keira is home awaiting her surgery.
A spokeswoman for the health board said: “Keira is not currently a patient of NHS Grampian therefore we cannot offer any comment on her treatment or condition.
“However, if Keira’s family have any concerns or questions about the care she received from us we are happy to discuss those further. We would encourage them to get in touch with us directly, via the feedback service.”