‘Doc missed signs my baby was dying – he should’ve trusted my mother’s instinct’

When Kirsty Ermenekli took her six-year-old daughter, Layla-Rose, to hospital she knew something was seriously wrong.

Little Layla was suffering with a high temperature, a headache and a tummy ache in February, 2017.

But a doctor dismissed her symptoms and even claimed the rashshe developed was "bruises".

Determined Kirsty refused to take her dance-mad daughter home and eight hours after she arrived at hospital, Layla went into cardiac arrest and died from meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia.

The doctor who treated her, Harsha Rajana, has now been struck off after a General Medical Council hearing found more than 20 mistakes and dishonest statements proven against him.


  • Mum who weighed 30 stone turns life around after seven-year-old son's plea

  • Mumps cases treble affecting thousands as medics warn of 'dangerous' misinformation

An internal report carried out by the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust criticised doctors.

It stated that Layla-Rose’s mother’s concerns were not listened to, while there were two missed opportunities to recognise the rash. 

The hearing heard Dr Rajana had failed to consider sepsis , failed to take blood tests and failed to give fluids – and then he lied about his failings.

Layla’s mother, Kirsty, 34, from Oldham, was heavily pregnant with her fourth child when Layla died.

She named her son, Laylan, in her daughter's memory.


  • Mum's heartbreaking pic warned Tories about NHS cuts two years ago – and it's got worse

  • Fit and healthy teen dies of stroke after turning his head too quickly

Kirsty said: "Doctors are wonderful – but a mother’s instinct is invaluable. I knew something was wrong with my daughter but nobody listened.

"If she had been treated sooner, she would still have been here today.

"Laylen was born at home, still in the amniotic sac and we feel that he is a gift from Layla. He has given us all a reason to smile and to look to the future.

"I am pleased that the doctor who saw Layla has been struck off, I have been fighting for justice for her for so long and he will not be able to make the same mistakes with another child, which is a comfort to me.

"But he lost his job, and we have lost our daughter. How is that fair?"


  • Teen 'suffering from stress' had deadly brain condition that wiped her memory

  • Distraught daughter reveals dad told her 'I love you' before he died in car park

Kirsty is now calling for all children to be vaccinated against the disease in her Layla's Law campaign.

Layla was Kirsty and her husband Ricky's second eldest child and adored by her family. 

Kirsty said: "Layla was typical girl; she loved dancing and she loved dressing up, she liked to look neat and tidy and she always had a bow in her hair.

"She had a temper too, she was very expressive and fiery."

When Layla first started feeling unwell, Kirsty thought it was the same tonsillitis bug her son had.


  • Newborn left needing brain surgery after contracting meningitis that nearly killed her

  • Nurse suffering from 'stress headaches' given devastating cancer diagnosis

But when the little girl's temperature shot up, Kirsty called the NHS helpline.

She said: "I waited over an hour on hold, so I decided to take her to hospital just to be on the safe side."

Layla started being sick when she arrived at hospital and had both stomach pain and a headache.

But when she was checked over by a doctor, Kirsty was told to take her daughter home. 

She said: "I told them I wasn’t happy about taking her home because Layla seemed so unwell."


  • Girl, 17, who felt ill on family holiday rushed into 7 hours of brain surgery

  • First-time mum gives birth to one of UK's biggest babies – without pain relief

Layla was then seen by a paediatrician who found a red patch on her hip.

Kirsty said: "I told him it wasn’t a bruise and it had just come out of nowhere. But he said it was a bruise.

"They started to spread – and I went into panic."

Layla was now struggling to breathe and moved to a high dependancy ward and given antibiotics.

By now, she had been in hospital over six hours.

Kirsty said: "The staff still didn’t know what was wrong. They said she had an infection but that was it."


  • Healthy Brit, 23, dies from 'silent killer' after return from Benidorm holiday

  • Dozens of mums and babies died in 'worst ever NHS maternity scandal'

At 3.50am, Layla stopped breathing.

Kirsty said: "I saw the nurses move her pillow quickly and began resuscitation. I was in shock, screaming hysterically.

"I called my husband who was at home looking after our other children, and he rushed to the hospital but it was too late."

Layla died at 4am on February 4, 2017.

At her funeral, Kirsty played Layla’s favourite songs from her dance shows.

Kirsty said: "Her death was horrendous for us all. My eldest daughter was heartbroken.


  • Mum diagnosed with brain tumour while seven months pregnant with first child

  • Devastated boyfriend's learns girlfriend died days after planning Rome proposal

"My son, Emrae, got a pillow with pictures of Layla on – and he carried it everywhere with him.

"I was heavily pregnant and the rest of my pregnancy was so hard."

Kirsty’s fourth child was born in May, 2017 on her 32nd birthday.

She said: "Laylen was born at home, still in the amniotic sac and we feel that he is a gift from Layla. He has given us all a reason to smile and to look to the future.”

As well as campaigning for meningitis vaccinations for all children, Kirsty is fundraising for the charity, Meningitis Now.

A report into Layla’s death was critical of her treatment in hospital.


  • Mum finds daughter, 21, dying after she went to bed complaining of headache

  • Superfit former PE teacher paralysed after breaking back in horrific cycling crash

The report stated that Kirsty brought her daughter to the hospital at around 8.30pm and she was assessed by a triage nurse after a 25 minute wait.

The little girl was identified as requiring a doctor within 10 minutes but delays meant it was an hour and 50 minutes before she was seen by a doctor.

A rash was spotted on Layla-Rose’s body but the doctor thought it was just a bruise and did not write this information down or speak about it with her mother before telling Kirsty to take her daughter home.

A doctor told Kirsty her daughter was fit to go home.

But Layla’s mother and a sister nurse in charge felt uncomfortable sending her home and she was instead transferred to the paediatrics ward.

After another wait Layla was assessed by a junior doctor, who picked up on the rash on her hip but was told by the previous doctor it was just a bruise and not a new symptom.


  • Student was left fighting for life after being struck down with deadly meningitis

  • Brave boy, 9, who can't swim jumped into sea to try save friend who drowned

Just 30 minutes later another locum doctor noted the rash, inserted a cannula, took bloods and administered antibiotics for sepsis.

The rash on Layla-Rose’s body spread rapidly and she then went into cardiac arrest, before she was pronounced dead by medics on the morning of February 4.

A list of missed opportunities in the internal report found doctors used an old document when assessing Layla-Rose, which failed to facilitate the early recognition of potential sepsis.

It also stated Layla-Rose’s mother’s concerns were not listened to, while there were two missed opportunities to recognise the rash.

The report said: “The doctor who saw the patient initially did not recognise the rash, which was not documented at the time as being of a worrying nature, as a result the diagnosis of sepsis was missed for three and a half hours, during which treatment opportunities were missed.


  • Baby sent home with paracetamol for teething died from meningitis three days later

  • Teenager who went to bed 'with a hangover' dies after it turns out to be meningitis

“A second opportunity to spot any rashes was missed when the rash was noted prior to transfer and escalated, false re-assurance was given that this was not a new finding so no action was taken.”

The report added there was “failure to identify the advanced nature of the sepsis and treat accordingly” as well as “failure to recognise a ‘bruise’ as a purpuric rash and therefore as an indicator of meningococcal sepsis”.

The report recommended doctors require additional training to identify rashes, while staff have been sent a patient alert asking to consider sepsis when diagnosing unwell children.

Dr Jawad Husain, Medical Director at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said following the report: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to all of Layla’s family and friends following her sad and tragic death at The Royal Oldham Hospital.

"We have carried out a thorough investigation into the care and circumstances surrounding Layla’s death and have shared our findings with her parents. We continue to be in contact with the family to provide feedback and support.”

An inquest in March 2018 recorded a narrative conclusion and found that the little girl’s death could have been avoided but for failings in hospital care.

Source: Read Full Article