Mark and Veronica Nartey knew their four-year-old daughter, Lindsey, was seriously ill. She was screaming with pain, rubbing her stomach and was severely dehydrated after 24 hours of vomiting and diarrhoea.
On Monday morning, 15 March 1999, they took Lindsey to the accident and emergency department of the North Middlesex hospital. It was their second visit in 24 hours. They were desperate. Mr Nartey said: "We waited 40 minutes before we were seen by the assessment nurse. She took one look at Lindsey and told us to follow her to the treatment room. She actually ran – that's how worried she was."
They had brought Lindsey in the previous evening but had been told she had tonsillitis and were sent away with a prescription for antibiotics. They had also taken her to their GP but she had diagnosed colic. "Lindsey was in terrible pain. We couldn't have continued to wait," Mr Nartey said.
Back at the North Middlesex on Monday morning, the couple thought at last they would get some urgent attention once they were in the treatment room. But they waited another hour for a doctor to come and then more precious minutes were lost before he called the paediatrician. Mr Nartey, 47, said: "By the time the paediatrician arrived Lindsey and fallen into a coma. As soon as the paediatrician came in he shouted 'I need help here' and took her to the resuscitation room. But it was too late."
An inquiry into Lindsey's death criticised the care she had received and the hospital has apologised. The Narteys are considering legal action.Reuse content