Docs said my son just had a virus – hours later he was fighting for his life in emergency op | The Sun

WHEN little River-Peter Birkett-Joss started complaining about pains in his head, his dad wasn't too concerned at first.

The nine-year-old has complex needs and dad John Birkett knew that this meant he was often unwell.

To be on the safe side, the concerned dad, 31, called 111, who told him to take his son to the local A&E in Grimsby.

John said doctors sent his boy home after claiming he just had a viral infection.

But hours later, River was receiving a life-saving operation.

Less that 24 hours after he was initially released from hospital, the youngster was taken back again and kept overnight, being rushed toSheffield Children's Hospital.

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A scan there revealed that River was suffering with fluid on the brain.

He was then fitted with shunts, which will help him regulate the fluid.

Fluid on the brain can be caused for a variety of reasons and can be deadly.

It can be a sign of a bleed on the brain, blood clots or even meningitis.

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Now, opening up about the ordeal, John says staff were abrupt with him and that he is 'disgusted' at the treatment he and his son were given.

He highlighted that one member of staff at the hospital told him to go to the back of the line when he expressed his concern over his son.

"She told me I could be waiting for up to two hours, which I thought was disgusting. After a while, River was seen and was eventually sent to the Rainforest ward for a CT scan.

"At about 1am on Monday, July 25, we were blue lighted to Sheffield Children's Hospital for an emergency operation after scans had revealed large amounts of fluid on his brain," he told GrimsbyLive.

River then had to have an operation to drain the fluid – which is something John said medics should have picked up on.

"My faith in Grimsby A&E is now non-existent following this, they should've caught the issue when I went the first time," he added.

However, he praised staff who helped get his son to Sheffield and credited them for saving his life.

He added that parents should never allow themselves to be 'fobbed off' if they think there is something wrong with their child.

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In a statement, chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Peter Reading said: "We have been in contact with Mr Birkett and are thoroughly investigating his concerns.

"We will be back in touch with him on completion of our investigation. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any further details as we have a duty to protect patient confidentiality.”

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