Parents claim doctors dismissed girl with egg-sized cyst on windpipe as “happy wheezer”

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DOCTORS have been accused of ignoring a potentially cancerous cyst the size of an egg which threatened to suffocate a baby.

The growth next to Savannah Fenwick’s windpipe was dismissed for well over a year by doctors who said she was simply a “happy wheezer” from birth.

It was only when the tot, now 19-months-old, suffered pneumonia and was rushed by air ambulance to another hospital that doctors discovered the growth.

The parents say if it wasn’t for staff at Edinburgh and Glasgow hospitals their tot would have died.

The cyst – which tests may yet show to be cancerous – was crushing her windpipe.

Her parents, Jordan, 23, and Katherine, 22, from Aberdeen, claim NHS Grampian staff put their baby’s life at risk by ignoring their pleas for further tests.

Speaking today, Jordan, said: “I have never seen my daughter take a full breath of air in her life, until now.”

“She was born wheezing. At first doctors at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital told us it was mucus backed up but we knew that there was something there.

“They were pushing us to the side saying it was nothing to worry about and sending her home calling her a ‘happy wheezer’.

“We kept going in, and they kept saying the same thing.”

Savannah just before she was air-lifted to Edinburgh for pneumonia.

He added: “We once had a GP on the phone listening to her breathing and he said we had to get her to A&E now and we did, but they did nothing.

“We were pleading and arguing with doctors asking them to do more checks.”

Jordan said five X-rays had been taken in the last year and one highlighted a potential problem but they were then told there was nothing to worry about.

It was only when Savannah was flown to hospital in Edinburgh in March this year that the full extent of the problem was finally revealed.

The couple also have a 5-year-old called Sarah, who is in Aberdeen missing her family.

She was then sent to Glasgow for treatment, 17 months after her parents flagged the problem to Aberdeen staff.

Jordan said: “The cyst was on the outside of her windpipe crushing it, and she now has developed a weak windpipe as a result.

“They said it was about the same size as an egg, which is obviously really big for a baby.

“The operation she had was life threatening, but the doctors at Glasgow said she would have 100% died if she didn’t have it.

“Doctors removed the cyst but had to leave a few millimeters because of how close it was to her heart, and we’re now waiting for results on whether or not it’s cancerous.”

“It’s had a big impact on our lives.

“I’ve had to leave numerous jobs because of her being ill and i haven’t gone back to work because we were scared something like this was coming, so it’s had a big financial impact on us as well.

Jordan said Savannah was doing well and would hopefully be discharged soon.

“We couldn’t praise staff at Edinburgh and Glasgow enough, but we will never go back to Aberdeen for treatment again.

“We’re not suing the hospital. We don’t want to take money away from an NHS that’s already struggling.

“We just want to raise awareness, we want to encourage other parents to speak up for their kids.

“Our daughter never had a voice but we knew there was something wrong, and doctors need to listen to parents more, we know our kids best.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “”We take any complaint very seriously and we ensure that is investigated fully.

“The outcome is always discussed directly with the complainant.”

 
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