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Grieving parents seek answers at inquest into six-year-old's death

PUBLISHED: 07:30 03 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:55 03 June 2019

Oliver Hall lost his short battle with Meningitis B in October 2017 Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

Oliver Hall lost his short battle with Meningitis B in October 2017 Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

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The family of a six-year-old boy who died suddenly after contracting meningitis are today seeking answers at a jury inquest into his death.

The inquest into Oliver Hall's death began today. Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALLThe inquest into Oliver Hall's death began today. Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

Georgie and Bryan Hall, from Halesworth, have been campaigning to raise awareness of the condition since they lost their beloved son Oliver to Meningitis B in 2017.

He lost his short battle with the illness hours after being admitted to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston on Tuesday, October 24.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned in April 2018, and will recommence this morning at the Coroner's Court in Whitehouse Road, Ipswich.

Mrs Hall, who is expecting a baby in just five weeks, said the inquest felt a "little bit daunting" - but she was pleased her family would finally get the chance to better understand the events leading up to Oliver's death.

Oliver Hall in hospital fighting for his life, just four and a half hours before he died Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALLOliver Hall in hospital fighting for his life, just four and a half hours before he died Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

"It is just a massive build up of emotions," she said.

"You don't quite know what is going to be said and what feelings are going to come from it."

She said it was likely to be traumatic reliving the day of Oliver's death, but the inquest provided her family with a "one off opportunity to be heard".

"To have to relive that in front of lots of people is different," she said.

Oliver Hall and his brother Charlie in Halesworth, in February 2017 Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALLOliver Hall and his brother Charlie in Halesworth, in February 2017 Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

"We want people to know about it. If what's happened to Oliver can help anyone else in the future, then his death is not going to be in vain."

Since Oliver's death his parents have worked with the charity Meningitis Now to raise awareness about the condition and inform others that children born before September 2015 are not routinely immunised.

They have also established The Oliver Hall Forever Fund, dedicated to their son's memory, which has so far raised in excess of £20,000 for the charity.

Mrs Hall said both Meningitis Now and her solicitors, Shoosmiths LLP, had been very supportive leading up to the inquest.

The six-year-old lost his short battle with the illness hours after being admitted to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALLThe six-year-old lost his short battle with the illness hours after being admitted to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston Picture: BRYAN AND GEORGIE HALL

At the opening in April 2018, Dr Dan Sharpstone, assistant Suffolk coroner, said Oliver had become unwell on the morning of October 23.

He said he was taken to his GP and the family were given medical advice.

However, Oliver's condition deteriorated and he was rushed to the James Paget Hospital.

"Unfortunately, he died at the hospital," said Dr Sharpstone.

Oliver Hall died after contracting Meningitis B in October 2017 Pictures: MICK HOWESOliver Hall died after contracting Meningitis B in October 2017 Pictures: MICK HOWES

He said the cause of death was meningococcal septicaemia.

The jury inquest into Oliver's death will commence at 10am today, Monday June 3, and is expected to last three to five days.

The purpose of an inquest is to determine who the deceased was, how, when and where they died, and the particulars required to be registered - for example their name, address and cause of death.

The proceedings are never used to apportion blame or decide who, if anyone, may be criminally responsible.

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