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Family blames hospital for baby son's tragic death

GRIEVING Toowoomba parents William Bower and Kim Wright want to know why their baby son Malaki had to die.

Mr Bower called paramedics when his son fell ill.

He was told his son had croup, but after Malaki was taken to the Toowoomba Hospital emergency ward, doctors said the two-year-old wasn't sick enough to be admitted.

Shine Lawyers has lodged a claim against the hospital alleging negligence led to Malaki's death.

Malaki Bower in hospital.
Malaki Bower in hospital. Contributed

Mr Bower said while he was in the emergency room at the hospital on the afternoon of July 13, 2013, he pushed for tests to be done on his son, who he knew was sick.

However doctors gave him a steroid for the croup and discharged Malaki.

"That night was pretty rough (when we took him home). He couldn't sleep; he couldn't lie down; he had to sit on my lap, his head on my shoulder," he said.

Malaki as a healthy two-year-old.
Malaki as a healthy two-year-old. Contributed

Hours later Malaki suffered a fit and an ambulance was called.

"The ambulance officers wouldn't let me go near him. They explained that he'd gone into cardiac arrest and that they were doing everything they could to help him," Mr Bower said.

Malaki was taken back to Toowoomba Hospital emergency department where he was intubated and resuscitated.

That night he was transferred to the Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane, where he stayed for the next four days in a coma.

"The doctors down there sat us down and explained that with everything that was happening to him at the time there was a high probability that he would not come out of it at all," Mr Bower said.

"We had to make that decision to let him do it by himself and he couldn't and we lost him."

After their son's death, Mr Bower and Ms Wright started questioning the way the Toowoomba Hospital had treated their son.

"We've since found out that he was only given two milligrams of steroid for croup at the hospital. It turns out that he could have a lot more.

"They refused to give him the steroid and they said he had too much or the right amount even though he spat most of it out

"I had to argue the point with the hospital and the doctors there to tell them that I knew he wasn't right.

"I just wondered why they didn't listen and why they didn't do the specific tests or requirements that were needed."

The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service yesterday said it extended its sympathy to Malaki's family.

"As the matter is subject to legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for DDHHS to provide comment on the specifics of the case," a representative said.

Mr Bower said he was lost without his first-born son.

"He (was) a bright happy little man," he said.

"He was our champion. Anything that you could ever want from a boy we pretty much got in him."

Kim Wright and William Bower, with their son Sidney, lost their son Malaki two years ago from croup.
Kim Wright and William Bower, with their son Sidney, lost their son Malaki two years ago from croup. Nev Madsen

Mr Bower said Malaki's older sister Olivia, who had been "wrapped around his finger" was struggling to deal with her brother's death, as were her parents.

The couple's younger son Sidney was born about six month's after Malaki's death and knew who his brother was but didn't understand why he wasn't around anymore.

"We miss him a lot and never stop thinking about him," Mr Bower said.

"He's always in our minds and we just wish he was still here with us."

Mr Bower and Ms Wright said they wanted an inquest into Malaki's death.

So far they have been unsuccessful.

Topics:  darling downs health and hospital service editors picks medical negligence toowoomba toowoomba hospital



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