Baby drowned af­ter be­ing left alone in bath


Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By VICKY MUNRO [email protected]­ @vick­y_aFm

THE griev­ing mum of a 10-mon­thold baby claims a doc­tor at Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal turned off his life sup­port without her or the dad’s con­sent.

An in­quest at West Lon­don Coro­ner’s Court found that Kenzo De Macedo Teix­eira died on March 23 this year af­ter a tragic ac­ci­dent in the bath at his Uxbridge home.

His 21-year-old mother, Va­le­ria De Macedo, now says she is con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion, in­sist­ing nei­ther she nor Kenzo’s fa­ther, 23-year-old Car­los Lopes, gave per­mis­sion for his ven­ti­la­tor to be switched off.

She spoke of Kenzo, her first son and her par­ents’ only grand­son, as a lively, cheer­ful and clever boy who loved food and was her “ab­so­lute joy”.

Coro­ner Dr Sean Cum­mings ruled on Mon­day Novem­ber 26 that Kenzo died of drown­ing af­ter an ac­ci­dent at his Pa­tring­ton Close home, which re­sulted in his heart stop­ping for al­most 50 min­utes.

The Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice was called at 3.38pm to re­ports of a 10-month-old baby in car­diac ar­rest and reached him at 3.46pm.

Dr Cum­mings read a state­ment at the in­quest from the paramedics who at­tended the scene, Peter Shep­herd and Re­becca Sut­cliffe.

They were in­formed that Kenzo was hav­ing a bath when Va­le­ria left the room for a few min­utes to get blan­kets and clothes. She re­turned to find him sub­merged and un­re­spon­sive.

The paramedics de­cided to take Kenzo to hos­pi­tal af­ter at­tempt­ing to re­sus­ci­tate him un­suc­cess­fully for about 40 min­utes at the home, the state­ment said.

Read­ing from their state­ment, Dr Cum­mings said: “When they left he did not have a heart­beat and was not breath­ing on his own.

“They car­ried on work­ing on him in the am­bu­lance and when they ar­rived at hos­pi­tal, he did have a heart­beat but was still not able to breathe.”

A state­ment from PC Mark Jones de­scribed Va­le­ria as “very dis­tressed and in­con­solable at that time”.

An air am­bu­lance ar­rived at 3.59pm but Kenzo was taken to hos­pi­tal by road with an am­bu­lance set­ting off for Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal at 4.19pm and ar­riv­ing at 4.25pm.

Kenzo’s heart restarted at 4.24pm just prior to his ar­rival at the hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a con­sul­tant who ar­rived with the air am­bu­lance team.

A state­ment from a Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal con­sul­tant pae­di­a­tri­cian, Dr Khaled Bizanti, said that Kenzo was “pale and cold”, when he ar­rived at the hos­pi­tal.

His state­ment, read to the court, added: “Other con­cern­ing signs were that there were no spon­ta­neous move­ments and his pupils were di­lated and fixed.

“De­spite ef­forts over the next sev­eral hours, Kenzo’s un­der­ly­ing con­di­tion did not im­prove.”

Af­ter con­sult­ing with Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal (GOSH), Dr Bizanti de­cided Kenzo “could not sur­vive the drive” to GOSH.

Kenzo was then dis­con­nected from the ven­ti­la­tor, which was al­low­ing him to breathe, af­ter Dr Bizanti had a dis­cus­sion with his mother and fa­ther, his state­ment said.

Dr Cum­mings said: “The rea­son they dis­con­nected Kenzo’s ma­chine was be­cause, although his heart was beat­ing, his brain had died.

“He stopped breath­ing when he drowned and un­til just be­fore they brought him to hos­pi­tal they were un­able to restart his heart.

“For a very long pe­riod he was without a heart­beat but chil­dren are able to sur­vive that sort of thing for much longer, which is why they car­ried on try­ing to get his heart back.

“But the breath­ing ma­chine was still do­ing all the breath­ing for him and push­ing air into his lungs, he was not breath­ing him­self. Even if he stayed on ven­ti­la­tors for a day or two, there was no chance.”

Va­le­ria said at the in­quest that Dr Bizanti had told her and the child’s god­mother that there was a chance of Kenzo sur­viv­ing, although he might suf­fer pro­found dis­abil­i­ties.

Dur­ing the in­quest, she asked: “Why not give him a chance? We did not give per­mis­sion for the ma­chine to be switched off. His dad was not even talk­ing and just hold­ing his hand.

“I was scream­ing and telling him please do not switch off the ma­chine but he told me I was hurt­ing my baby. My whole fam­ily was beg­ging him and of­fer­ing him money to give him at least a bit of time to see if his body re­acts.”

Va­le­ria says she has lodged a for­mal com­plaint with Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal and has spo­ken to solic­i­tors about pur­su­ing le­gal ac­tion.

Though she does not want to speak to the doc­tor in ques­tion, she agreed for Dr Cum­mings to ar­range for her to speak with an­other Hilling­don doc­tor about what hap­pened to her son.

‘Other par­ents must not go through what I have’

Speak­ing at the in­quest, she added: “If the nurses are hon­est peo­ple they would say that we begged for him to not switch off the ma­chines. He did it without my per­mis­sion and that’s not cor­rect.

“Just be­fore he switched off the ma­chine I was hold­ing him and his eyes weren’t to­tally shut. They opened when he switched off the ma­chine and he breathed twice and then his body let go.

“He went so heavy and cold. He was warm, not cold, be­fore. Maybe if he had left the ma­chines on the re­sults would have been dif­fer­ent to what he was ex­pect­ing. You see so many cases of chil­dren in the same sit­u­a­tion where they do come back when they give them time.”

She added: “Not be­ing given a say in what they did with him in the hos­pi­tal felt like I did not even give birth to him and it was noth­ing. I was not given the op­por­tu­nity to de­cide, even if the out­come would have been the same.

“I had no say in his birth be­cause he was born pre­ma­ture and now re­gard­ing his death some­one is putting words in my mouth, say­ing I did ac­cept for my son to let go. They just took the de­ci­sion for me.

“I feel so an­gry with my­self, I did not fight enough. I feel like I was so weak when they switched off the ma­chines.”

Speak­ing af­ter the in­quest, Va­le­ria said: “The way ev­ery­thing was dealt with was wrong, we had to leave the hos­pi­tal through A&E when it was full of peo­ple. The whole fam­ily was cry­ing and ev­ery­one was look­ing at us, we could have left through a dif­fer­ent door.

“I never want other par­ents to have to go through what I went through.”

In a state­ment read out dur­ing the in­quest, she re­mem­bered her last morn­ing with Kenzo, play­ing with him in his room and feed­ing him eggs and bread sol­diers for break­fast.

She said: “I lost my dad years ago and my sit­u­a­tion with Kenzo’s dad is not per­fect. I have never had good re­la­tion­ships with men so Kenzo was the only hon­est man in my life.

“My daugh­ter does not give me as much at­ten­tion, she is all about her daddy but my son was all about me.

“He would put a smile on my face even if I was upset about other things in my life. Every day when I woke him up he would be so ex­cited and he wanted to be with me. He never saw me upset with him.”

Speak­ing af­ter the in­quest, she de­scribed her son as a clever boy who loved food and was adored by his whole fam­ily.

She said: “My son was ev­ery­thing and re­ally smart. When I told him not to do some­thing, he would look at me out of the cor­ner of his eye.

“He could al­ready say ‘mama’ and ‘give’. My daugh­ter is three and speaks quite a few lan­guages and he was the same as her.

“He al­ways knew what he wanted and he would al­ways look when I said his name. I used to take him swim­ming and he loved food. He never saw any­one eat­ing without ask­ing for some.

“When he turned five months old we had a party and made him a cake and he was covered in cake and kisses.

“Even now my daugh­ter still speaks about him and says she will share things with him, although she un­der­stands that he is gone and says he is in the stars.”

Re­spond­ing to a re­quest for com­ment, Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal said that “a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion” took place and a re­sponse was sent to Kenzo’s fam­ily.

A Hilling­don Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust spokes­woman said: “We un­der­stand the fam­ily’s dis­tress and our thoughts are with them at this very sad time.

“The in­quest into Kenzo’s death was to look at the cause of death and we un­der­stand that the con­clu­sion at the in­quest was ac­ci­den­tal death.

“Once a for­mal com­plaint was made, a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­taken and our re­sponse was sent back to Kenzo’s fam­ily.

“We have also of­fered to meet with the fam­ily to dis­cuss the care and treat­ment given to Kenzo.”

She added: “We can’t give any in­for­ma­tion about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or the re­sponse at all for pa­tient con­fi­den­tial­ity rea­sons.”

Baby Kenzo was treated by paramedics and then at Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal

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