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Our Kristian died 11 hours after doctors sent him home. But it won't be for nothing. His story will save other lives; GRIEVING MUM'S PLEDGE.

Byline: IAN MILLER

THE mother of a baby who died from meningitis hours after being sent home from hospital yesterday said his death would help others to live.

Nine-month-old Kristian Cook saw a hospital GP after his mother Michelle Wilson noticed he had potential symptoms of the illness.

But staff thought he had a 24-hour bug and he was sent home. He got worse and was later taken by ambulance to another hospital.

Kristian died 11 and a half hours after first being seen.

Michelle, 20, said: "He was a little saint. I am so proud of him for battling as long as he did and I am sure he will not have died for nothing.

"Because of Kristian other babies will live. We will make sure lives are saved by informing other parents of Kristian's case."

Michelle, of Deal, Kent, rang her GP out of hours to try to get a doctor to make a home visit after Kristian became ill on Saturday night.

She was told to take him to an emergency Primary Care Service GP at Buckland Hospital in Dover, Kent.

He saw them straight away at 10.30pm.

Michelle said: "I showed a doctor five symptoms of meningitis out of eight.

"Kristian was vomiting, showing signs of floppiness, had a high temperature, a blank stare and was making a high pitched moaning sound. But we were still sent home."

At around 4am, Kristian's dad Christopher Cook noticed his son now had a rash.

He was taken by ambulance to Kent and Canterbury Hospital but died at 10am on Sunday - six hours after being admitted there.

Michelle said: "Christopher and I literally watched the bumps appearing on his skin and by the time he got to the hospital he was covered from head to toe with this rash. It was terrible."

Michelle, who has another child Sophie-Louise, four, added: "If the doctor had done his job correctly there is a chance Kristian would still be here." She added: "We are taking this further. Christopher is making himself sick over the whole thing but we are coming together as a family to try and deal with it.

"We are looking into taking things forward legally."

Specialists from Guy's Hospital in South London were on their way to pick up Kristian and give him a blood trans- fusion but he died before they could reach him.

Michelle said: "Kristian could have had hours of treatment from experts at Guy's if I hadn't been sent home believing he just had flu a few hours earlier. He was a number one son. We had one Christmas with him and we will never forget it."

His funeral is on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for East Kent NHS, which runs the out of hours GP service at Buckland Hospital said Michelle's complaint will be "thoroughly investigated'. Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, of the Kent and Medway Health Authority, said: "In the early stages of meningitis it can present flu-like symptoms. It is almost impossible to diagnose until the later characteristics of meningitis develop."

CAPTION(S):

VISIT: Buckland Hospital, Kent; FIGHTER: Kristian Cook plays in the bath. He died after battling meningitis for 11 hours
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2003
Words:528
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