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A dad brought his daughter to A&E three times before she was admitted to intensive care, where she later died of Strep A.
Stella-Lily McCorkindale was the ninth child in the UK to die from the bacterial infection, as parents are left feeling worried for their children.
Robert McCorkindale, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, says his “amazing” daughter developed a cold and a fever over the weekend of November 26.
The father says he took the five-year-old to the hospital three times in three days before she was finally admitted, but by then it was sadly too late.
Stella-Lily passed away on Monday, December 5, and her family is now hoping to raise funds for her funeral, reports The Mirror.
A review is being conducted into Stella-Lilly’s care and the hospital has offered to meet with her family.
Mr McCorkindale said: “I think she would have had two extra days of fighting.
“They should have tested her for Strep A on the Monday [November 28], by the time they induced her, Stella had given up.”
Her death comes days after GPs are said to be terrified of missing signs of Strep A infection in children following a spate of deaths.
Strep A bacteria can cause impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat, which are often treatable with antibiotics, but in a small number of cases, it can result in serious disease.
Mr McCorkindale paid tribute to his daughter saying she was “kind and caring and thoughtful”.
“She was a great child, parents came up to me all the time saying they wished their children were like Stella-Lily. Everyone that met her loved her.
“She is amazing. She didn’t like it when children played alone and when she is around she was with them. She is so kind and caring and thoughtful.
“She doesn’t have any brothers or sisters so she treated all of her friends as such.”
He first took Stella-Lily to Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on November 28.
Mr McCorkindale added: “I carried her in because she couldn’t walk.
“The doctor looked at me and said what was wrong and I said she is very sick.
“She then asked why did you bring her [Stella-Lily] here and I was like ‘my daughter can’t even walk’ and I told them everything.
“They asked if I gave her Lucozade and I said ‘no she drinks water’, and they said she needed the electrolytes because she was dehydrated.
“They put a wooden stick on her tongue and said it was viral and said she just needed to be hydrated with Lucozade.
“In less than five minutes I was convinced I was an overbearing father and I felt bad for bringing my child there.”
Mr McCorkindale, who is not in a relationship with Stella-Lily’s mother, said his daughter went to her mum’s house after their first hospital trip.
The next day she felt worse and they took her in a second time, where he says a doctor helped with hydration but said she was still unwell and they went back home
By November 30, Stella-Lily’s condition had severely deteriorated.
Mr McCorkindale said: “By 5pm on Wednesday Stella had said ‘mummy, I feel like I’m dying’ and so we took her back.
“I shouted at them that we were not going anywhere until we saw a doctor.
“In 15 minutes, this doctor ordered tests and found she had a chest infection and they said ‘we think this is toxic shock now’.
“They weren’t 100 per cent sure it was Strep A, and they feared it was sepsis too because the blood was infected.
“The blood culture came back for a Strep A a few hours later.”
Mr McCorkindale said that once his daughter was admitted staff went “above and beyond for her”.
Stella-Lily also died for five minutes while battling the infection.
He said: “All the doctors on the ICU ward did everything for her, they bent over backwards and treated her like a princess.
“She was a wee bit delirious but she still had her sass when she corrected doctors to say her name is ‘Stella-Lily’ not ‘Stella’.”
“By 3am Thursday, her whole body shut down and she died for five minutes and they brought her back.
“They had to keep her in an induced coma to get antibiotics in her.”
He added: “The A&E was disgraceful until that Wednesday. They did everything for her, they bent over backwards and there were doctors coming on their day off to try and help her.
“She touched all their hearts. They did everything they could and it just got worse.
“A couple of days later they were going to have to amputate her wee legs and we thought ‘okay as long as we can get her out of here’.
“Her pupils changed and they did a CT scan and found she was brain damaged and we thought ‘okay let’s try and wake her up’.
“And on the Monday it was time to go sleep and they took her off everything.”
He added: “The only thing that breaks my heart is that I can forgive the doctor on Tuesday [November 29] because she cured her dehydration and I have no bad feelings for her.
“It is the doctor on Monday night, she had no interest in doing anything to my daughter, she made me feel so small, that I was an overbearing father bringing her in.
“I know their job is hard, I know I can’t do that job, but if you can’t give the same care to the first child you see compared to the 99th child you shouldn’t be in that job.”
A spokesman for Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children told the Mirror: “We send our deepest condolences to the McCorkindale family following the passing of Stella-Lilly.
“Every aspect of the care Stella-Lilly received is being carefully reviewed.
“The death of a child is a heart-breaking event for family and friends and in such tragic circumstances, we give the family space to grieve.
“Hospital management will be available to meet Stella-Lily’s family at a time that suits them.
“Our thoughts are with them at this incredibly sad time.”
What is Group A Streptococcus?
Group A Streptococcus is the name given to a type of bacteria sometimes found in the throat or on the skin.
Group A Streptococcus usually causes mild illness like sore throats and skin infections.
Rarely these bacteria can cause severe and life-threatening illness called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease.
How could I catch Group A Streptococcus?
Many people carry Group A Strep harmlessly and do not develop illness.
It can be passed from person to person by close contact such as kissing or skin contact.
Most people who come into contact with Group A Strep remain well and symptom-free, some get mild throat or skin infections.
Contracting invasive disease from a relative or household member is very rare.
You can reduce the risk of picking up Group A Strep by always washing your hands thoroughly.
Pregnant women or those having gynaecology treatments are advised to wash their hands before and after going to the toilet.
It is also important to dispose of tissues after use and to wash your hands when you have a cough or cold.
What are the symptoms?
Group A Strep can cause throat infection, scarlet fever or skin infections such as cellulitis or impetigo.
These infections are usually treated with antibiotics.
Very rarely it can cause severe illness when the bacteria get into parts of the body that are usually free from bacteria such as the lungs, blood or muscles.
This is called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease.
Invasive disease happens when the bacteria get past your body’s immune defences.
This can happen when you are already ill or are on treatments, such as some cancer treatments, that affect your immune system.
Two of the most severe types of invasive disease are necrotising fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome.
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