‘I won’t be able to grieve until I get answers’
THE mother of a three-year-old boy who died after treatment at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital has demanded that health chiefs come clean on the reasons behind her son’s death.
In an exclusive interview with the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Victoria Freeman revealed that her son Mason Djemat – who had a rare genetic condition – was not admitted to hospital because he was unwell but for therapy that was meant to enhance and prolong his life.
Miss Freeman, 31, was horrified to discover that Mason had suffered a sudden, inexplicable deterioration while on the wards.
The hotel manager, from Stewarton, Ayrshire, told the paper she was so appalled by what she regarded as lax infection control procedures – such as cleaners sneezing in Mason’s room, doctors not wearing shoe covers or face masks and isolation unit doors being left open – at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) that she took in bleach to try to disinfect her son’s room.
She said: ‘I feel if I hadn’t put Mason in that hospital for treatment he would still be here. It’s something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.’
Mason’s mother said her faith in the Scottish Government and NHS Greater Glasgow
and Clyde, the health board which runs the hospital, had been shaken to the core. After a meeting last week with embattled Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, who has been under intense pressure to explain precisely when she was informed about problems at QEUH, she said: ‘For the past two years I have been standing all alone. I have been going to meetings and fighting the NHS health board myself and I feel I haven’t had the time to grieve for Mason – I won’t be able to until I have the answers he deserves.’
Mason was receiving stem cell transplant treatment for the chronic condition Hunter’s syndrome when he died suddenly on August 9, 2017.
After Mason’s death, bosses at the hospital, which has since been placed into special measures, admitted a string of failings in his care and acknowledged a need to review practices and training.
Last month, it emerged police contacted the procurator fiscal shortly after his death, and the Crown has confirmed that an investigation is continuing into the treatment he received.
Devoted: Victoria Freeman, above with Mason, said her son deserves answers