Grief-stricken parents demand public inquiry

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The Independent Online
THE PARENTS of the children who died called for a public inquiry yesterday and said the GMC inquiry did not go far enough.

Helen Rickard, whose 11-month-old daughter Samantha died after a heart operation performed by James Wisheart, said: "I am not pleased and I think most parents today probably feel the same way as me."

As Mr Wisheart left the GMC headquarters with his wife, Mrs Rickard - whose husband committed suicide two years after their daughter's death - walked alongside his taxi shouting "bastard" and banging on the window. "The scope of the inquiry was not wide enough," she said. "There is still a lot more to be investigated in this case. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We need a public inquiry to find out exactly what happened."

Mrs Rickard's daughter underwent a hole-in-the heart operation on 3 February 1992. "This has shattered my life and I have not had one world of apology from Mr Wisheart or the hospital or the GMC," she said.

Tracey Clarke, whose 11-month-old daughter Melissa died in 1991 after an operation by Janardan Dhasmana, said: "Nothing can ever bring Melissa back but I feel that if we can see these doctors brought to justice we can ensure that something like this never happens again.

"So many babies died and people just didn't know what was going on.

"I had another baby within a year of Melissa dying and if she had been born with the same defect she would have gone to the same hospital with the same doctors and I would have probably lost two children.

"We do need a public inquiry. It is not just about the operations, but the events leading up to the operations and aftercare too. Something went seriously wrong and somebody needs to admit that."