My baby boy died in my arms less than 24 hours after he was discharged from hospital

A baby boy who was discharged from hospital half-an-hour after being seen by doctors, died in his mum's arms less than 24 hours later.

Lucas Thomas Munslow, from Flint, in North Wales, was sent home from hospital with tonsillitis, but within 24 hours had a seizure in his mum's arms and 'never came back.' It was later found the baby died of meningitis.

Lucas died on Saturday, May 18, 2019, after his symptoms of meningitis were missed by doctors in Glan Clwyd Hospital in North Wales. His family are now urging people to seek second opinions on diagnoses, and not trust what you are first told. His mum, Kim Munslow, said: "We trusted what we were told and look what it got us."

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Kim recalled the traumatic days leading up to her son's death, as she told the ECHO: "I was in work on the Tuesday night before he died, Nathan phoned me and said he [Lucas] had a temperature of 39+ so I said to give him Calpol and ring me back if his temperature hasn't gone down. He phoned me back and said his temperature was still the same - I left work early and took him straight to the doctors on Wednesday morning.

"The doctors said he had a viral infection and we were told to keep a close eye on him. Then on Friday we took him to A&E [at Glan Clwyd Hospital] because he still wasn't better. He had cold hands and feet but his body temperature was 39+.

"We were waiting for hours in A&E, then when we eventually got seen by a nurse she noticed that his body had gone stiff. We eventually got transferred to the children's unit and we were put into a side room. We waited until around 12am before we saw a paediatric doctor. He came up and asked what was going on, I explained he was very sleepy, had gone off his food, had cold hands and feet, and his temperature is 39+ - and that his body had now gone stiff.

Kim and Nathan with their son Lucas
Kim and Nathan with their son Lucas -Credit:Kim Munslow

"They checked his ears and throat and said they think he has tonsillitis. We were discharged within half an hour of being seen."

Kim, says she "believed and trusted the doctors," so she and Lucas' dad, Nathan Munslow, 40, took Lucas home in the early hours of Saturday. Less than 24 hours after the family came home Lucas had a seizure in his mum's arms and died.

She said: "He never came back. He got rushed back to hospital, they did everything they could to save him but it was too late. It was heart-breaking."

The mum recalled the harrowing hours they spent in Glan Clwyd Hospital that night, as they were interviewed by police and had every inch of their home and belongings searched. Kim said: "The police took our house keys and searched our home, they took food samples of what he [Lucas] had that day, his medication, nappies, because it was a sudden death.

"We weren't allowed to leave the hospital until 7am on Sunday - he passed away at 11.10pm Saturday. While the police investigations were ongoing we felt like they were blaming us, like it was our fault he passed away.

"When we eventually got home we realised they [the police] didn't put anything back. We realised what stuff they had taken - all I wanted to do was hold his favourite blanket but I couldn't even do that because they took that. It was heartbreaking. I was six months pregnant with his brother at the time too."

Lucas' siblings, Louis, Lloyd and Lacey
Lucas' siblings, Louis, Lloyd and Lacey -Credit:Kim Munslow

The mum says they had to fight for years for an inquest into their son's death, eventually in November last the courts decided to hold an inquest into Lucas' death, which reportedly revealed he had meningitis. Kim said: "On the night he died they said it could have been meningitis, and the autopsy confirmed it.

"It made us angry because all the time they were saying they did everything they could on the Friday night. We were told in the inquest if he had been given antibiotics there would have been a 78% chance that he would still be here, he could have been disabled or it [meningitis] could have damaged his brain, but he could have still been here. That was heartbreaking for me to hear."

The family wants to raise awareness of symptoms of meningitis - common symptoms are usually a rash - however, Lucas didn't have a rash. They fear that if the symptoms Lucas did have, such as a stiff body, cold hands and warm temperatures, were recognized as meningitis, then perhaps Lucas would still be here today.

Kim added: "We want to raise awareness for people to push for second opinions if they know something is wrong, we want to get awareness out there to demand a second opinion. The most common symptom of meningitis is a rash, Lucas didn't have a rash.

"We trusted what we were told and look what it got us."

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