A CORONER has criticised “unacceptable” delays in treating an 11-year-old boy before he died of a rare condition at Southend Hospital.
Jason Treloar, or Jay as he was known, died from a ruptured artery in his heart after falling ill outside his home in Third Walk, Canvey.
He died at Southend Hospital and a post-mortem examination revealed he died from a dissecting aortic aneurysm caused by an undiagnosed collagen disease called Loeys-Dietz syndrome.
Coroner Caroline Beasley- Murray said: “There was an unacceptable delay before Jason was seen by a clinician at Southend Hospital.
“The statement of triage documentation was poor and there was poor communication with Jason’s mother during that period.”
The inquest heard Jay’s mother, Agnetta Treloar, heard a “bloodcurdling scream” from her son shortly before 6.30pm on April 23, 2010.
He complained of chest pain and was taken to Southend Hospital by ambulance where it took just over two-and-a-half hours for a doctor to examine him.
He died at 5.30pm the following day.
Ms Beasley-Murray said: “Jason died as a result of an extremely rare medical event.
The condition was inoperable and a positive outcome was not likely. He died of natural causes.”
Ms Treloar said: “I’m happy the coroner outlined the failures of the hospital. I do accept what she said and I agree with it. It was a rare thing to happen, I know that now, but it still doesn’t excuse the way they treated him.”
Jay, a pupil at Northwick Park Primary School, Canvey, had a history of spinal scoliosis, joint deformities and an enlarged heart.
Doctors said Jay would never be able to walk after he was born with a double curvature of the spine, dislocated elbows and no left hip. However, he stunned doctors by finding a way to walk short distances.
Ms Beasley-Murray added: “This has been a most sad case.
The evidence has been upsetting and harrowing for all to hear.”
SOUTHEND Hospital says it has made a number of improvements.
The inquest heard conflicting evidence from medical staff and Jay’s mother over communication in his final hours.
Coroner Ms Beasley-Murray gave more weight to his mother’s evidence.
She said: “Jason’s mother gave evidence and the court is sure no one can have failed to be impressed with her account and the dignity with which she spoke.
“The court is mindful, for relatives, this is a clear one-off dramatic event, while for the medical staff it’s more part and parcel of their professional lives.
“Where there are discrepancies in accounts of events such as these of April 23 and 24 in Southend Hospital, the court tends to prefer Jason’s mother’s account.
Mr Neil Rothnie, medical director at Southend Hospital, said: “We havemade a number of improvements in the areas identified by the coroner and will continue to work hard to provide the highest possible level of care.”
JAY'S family paid tribute to “the bravest boy” in a handmade card.
His mother said: “Jay’s life was full of ups and downs, but through it all he was always smiling and took everything in his stride.
“Most of the time it was me who was the wreck, but Jay would just laugh at me, roll his eyes and give me the biggest hug he could manage.”
His grandfather Alfred Pooley, 67, of Dover Way, Pitsea, said: “He was the bravest boy I’ve ever seen in my life.
Everyone who had contact with him would never forget him.
“He was a wonderful grandson and a light went out in the world when he died. I’m sure he is cracking up the angels now.”
Dad Jason Pooley, 43, of High Road, Benfleet, added: “He was so brave and he never complained.
“If I could take his place, I would. He was the best son. When he died, my life ended.”
JAY’S family had to endure a four-year wait for answers about how he died.
Proceedings began in 2010, but the family dealt with three different coroners, and saw the Southend Coroners Court merge with Essex, before his case was heard.
Essex Coroner’s Service has since apologised to the family for the length of time it took.
His dad, Jason Pooley, labelled the delay “disgusting”
and Ms Treloar added: “I’ve had to contact the coroner’s officer – they never contacted us.
“There are people who have passed away a year ago and within six months they get their inquest.
“It was getting very annoying and frustrating.”
An Essex Coroner’s Service spokesman said: “This is clearly a complex case. It also has been difficult in tracing certain witnesses.
“We do apologise to the family.”
People in Essex wait on average 40 weeks for inquests to complete, well above the national average of 28 weeks.