25 Nov 2019

No apology from DHB after baby misdiagnosed, dies from meningitis

From Checkpoint, 5:18 pm on 25 November 2019

The father of a baby who died from acute bacterial meningitis after he was sent home from Ashburton Hospital twice is angry his family is yet to receive an apology from the Canterbury District Health Board.

Seven-month-old Zoren Chaloner was taken to hospital three times over four days in early November suffering from a cough, fever and runny nose, but he was sent home twice with ibuprofen, paracetamol and electrolytes despite suffering a seizure.

His family took him to a GP who rang the hospital asking why a urine test wasn't done.

Zoren died four days later, shortly after he was admitted to the hospital for the third time.

"As a father, there's nothing harder than seeing your baby boy fighting so hard for his life and those people that you trusted [who] would help him in his fight didn't help him. I couldn't even get in there and help him fight it," his father David Chaloner said.

"Those people at the hospital ... they should have done those tests, he would've been alive today.

"It was real devastating."

He said he tried talking to his son to fight it out but didn't make it.

"It was my daughter's birthday - it's really sad because the day of the birthday is the day her brother died. That's going to stick forever. I'd give anything to have him back."

He said it shouldn't have happened and he wanted something done about it.

"Haven't even received an apology from the DHB ... got it from the doctors."

Mr Chaloner said he didn't receive any further details from the DHB, just the coroner's report.

Canterbury DHB chief medical officer Dr Sue Nightingale in a statement said: "On behalf of the DHB, I express my sympathy to the family of this young boy.
"As the death has been referred to the coroner, we are unable to comment further."