'Something we’ll never get over' - heartbroken dad responds to daughter's inquest verdict

·5-min read
Indianna Maddison, on the left at the front, on holiday with her family, days before the tragedy in Egypt 
Indianna Maddison, on the left at the front, on holiday with her family, days before the tragedy in Egypt

THE heartbroken father of a girl who died after nearly drowing in a hotel swimming pool said he will never get over the tragedy after a corner ruled ‘deficiencies’ in emergency services and hospital care abroad contributed to her death.

Four-year-old Indianna Maddison was on a Christmas break with her parents and eight siblings in Egypt when the heart-breaking incident happened.

Read more: Indianna Maddison: 'Deficiencies' contributed to Bishop Auckland girl's death

The Northern Echo: Indianna Rose Maddison
The Northern Echo: Indianna Rose Maddison

Indianna Rose Maddison

The family, from Bishop Auckland, was six days into their holiday, at the Jaz Makadi Aquaviva Hotel in Hurghada.

An inquest heard she was taken to a hospital around 35 minutes away in an ambulance ‘like a builders’ van with siren’ when disaster struck at lunchtime on December 2017.

She suffered seizures and a stroke, but was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary on Christmas Day.

The hearing, at Newcastle Coroner’s Court, heard that when they arrived in England, doctors told Indianna’s family that her condition was much worse than they had thought.

The inquest was told Indianna had suffered an “irrevocable” brain injury as a result of near drowning, and she died on Boxing Day.

Read more: Heartbreaking moment pool tragedy turned family's dream holiday into nightmare

In a heartbreaking statement after the verdict, Indianna’s dad Tommy said: “We miss our beloved Indianna every single day. “She was our happy little girl and we always protected her in any way we could, so to lose her how we did was absolutely devastating and something we’ll never get over.

“To know that we’ll never see her grow up alongside her brothers and sisters, or mark milestones like starting school, getting married and having her own children, is so difficult to accept.

“It’s now three years since it happened, but the pain never goes away. Going through everything again at the inquest has been hard, but we’re grateful to have answers.”

The coroner said at that point, Indianna’s prospect for survival, ‘although poor’, was dependent on receiving skilled basic life support and advanced life support pending her admittance to hospital.

Ms Dilks said that basic life support was provided due to the ‘heroic efforts’ of a guest and staff member who gave Indianna CPR at the poolside and on the way to the hospital.

But, she said, no medical equipment or paramedic was available at the scene, and there was ‘no advanced life support’ in the vehicle which took Indianna to hospital.

Ms Dilks said: “Indianna was admitted to a local critical care facility, the standards of which fell significantly below those of the UK’s critical care units.

“There were deficiencies in hospital management including an attempted wean from sedation.”

The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion that Indianna died due to the effects of near drowning, with ‘deficiencies’ in local emergency services and hospital care contributing to the injury.

Indiana’s parents Kelly Maddison, 42, and Tommy Maddison, 48, previously told the inquest they had had been to the local town on the morning of the incident to pick up some family photographs, leaving Indianna with her sister Billie-Jean Maddison, 25.

When they got back, Indianna was playing around the large heated pool outside the family’s room, Mr Maddison said.

The inquest heard Mrs Maddison attended to the two youngest children while Mr Maddison went to the room to get some cigarettes before going to the snack area to get pizza.

On the way back he had a brief conversation with another couple, when he heard screaming and Ms Maddison shouting: “It’s Indianna.”

Alistair Lee, a sales director from Leeds who was friendly with the family, tried his hardest to save the little girl.

During an emotional testimony given during the hearing, he said: “I was in the pool when it happened. I automatically swam over.

“It is all a bit blurry but I was doing CPR at one point in the pool. I was doing mouth to mouth in the water for what felt like forever, then I was doing it outside the pool.”

The inquest heard that no suitable medical equipment was ‘available or used’ at the poolside, and that the situation became chaotic as people swarmed around trying to help.

Mrs Maddison’s statement said: “Someone found the hotel doctor but he arrived at the same time as the ambulance.

“He didn’t do much – he walked very slowly towards us and shook his head.”

She said the ambulance arrived after about ten minutes but “it didn’t seem like much of an ambulance” and there was no equipment inside.

During her time at the hospital in Egypt, Indianna’s parents were told she had suffered seizures.

On her last day before being taken home by air ambulance, she was said to have suffered a stroke.

Mr Maddison said: “There was never a doubt that Indianna was not going to be OK. We thought she might be disabled at most.”

The inquest heard that when Indianna was admitted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary she went into a cardiac arrest.

A brain scan later showed there was ‘no hope for Indianna’.

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