May 27 2013 Latest news:
By Dominic bareham
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The mother of a disabled boy has slammed a Norfolk hospital for leaving him to survive on water for four days after his feed tube came out and could not be re-inserted any earlier.
Linda Biggs, 50, of Tottington Lane, Roydon, called Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on February 28 after her 20-year-old son Matthew’s feeding tube through his stomach came out when he vomited and she needed staff at the hospital’s gastroenterology department to put the tube back in.
However, she was told there were no staff available to carry out the procedure because of holidays and he would have to wait four days for the treatment, by which time he had become “lethargic and weak” due to not being fed.
Mrs Biggs said: “They rang me back and said we can’t do it today and I said ‘you are joking, he can’t live on water’. Obviously, he was very lethargic and weak. The hospital said he had got to have water for five days and that was just ridiculous.”
She said she expected the tube to be re-inserted “within 24 hours” of it coming out and said when Matthew was younger the paediatric teams would re-insert the tube as soon as possible or the next day, but the adult teams did not appear to be as efficient.
Matthew, who has a brother James, 17, was born with the condition agenisis, which meant part of his brain had not developed properly and he can not walk or eat properly and has to be fed through the tube.
He receives round-the-clock care from his family and carers provided by the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People, who take him out on trips.
Mrs Biggs, who also lives with husband Steven, 52, said the tube had a tendency to come loose whenever Matthew sneezed or vomited.
A hospital spokesman said: “We are investigating a complaint from the family about the timeliness of Matthew’s care and we are very sorry for any delay he experienced during his stay with us.”
Motorists escaped injury in a six-vehicle crash near Thetford.
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