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Gravely ill four-year-old boy ‘had to suck fluid from tissue’ while recovering from heart surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital, inquest into his death hears

Parents of Sean Turner give harrowing account of son's treatment on hospital's controversial Ward 32

A four-year-old boy recovering from heart surgery on a controversial hospital ward was so desperate for a glass of water that he resorted to sucking  the moisture from tissues used to cool his forehead, his parents have told an inquest into his death.

Steve and Yolanda Turner told the hearing how they begged doctors and nurses on Ward 32 of Bristol Children’s Hospital to help their desperately ill son Sean.

“Sean was deteriorating. We could see it but nobody listened to us,” said Mrs Turner as she and her husband gave harrowing accounts of their son’s care and treatment on the first day of the two-week hearing at Avon Coroner’s Court. He died in March 2012 from a brain haemorrhage after previously suffering a cardiac arrest – six weeks after he underwent vital corrective heart surgery.

Mr and Mrs Turner accused doctors of transferring their son from intensive care to the ward too soon and said they missed the signs of his worsening condition.

In a number of statements read out to the court, staff said they followed all procedures set down in the “very difficult circumstances”.

The inquest continues.