Family demands answers on baby’s death

Andrew Curran and Laura Whiteside whose baby Kai died after they waited over 30 minutes for an ambulance
Andrew Curran and Laura Whiteside whose baby Kai died after they waited over 30 minutes for an ambulance

HEARTBROKEN parents are demanding to know why there was a delay in getting help for their dying baby.

Little Kai Curran was just 15 weeks old when he died on January 3.

The tiny babe developed breathing problems while staying at his grandparents’ home in Carronshore.

But the frantic family waited 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive to take the tot to Stirling Royal Infirmary where, sadly, medics were unable to save him.

However, the young parents have now discovered that a trainee paramedic REFUSED to take the 999 call because she was working alone.

There was also a mix-up in dispatching an ambulance because the plea for help was initially routed to England.

Kai’s family only discovered that the rookie ambulance technician had been suspended after reading the story on the front page of a daily newspaper.

Devastated mum Laura (21) said: “I don’t understand why no-one told us there was an investigation and someone suspended. We have heard nothing, not even since it came out about the suspension. No-one from the ambulance service has been in touch with us.”

Kai was born eight weeks early on September 17 weighing just 3lb 15oz.

He was kept in Stirling Royal’s neo-natal unit for over three weeks before being allowed home.

Laura, who has a daughter Sophie (3), had already suffered the tragedy of losing a baby when her son Ryan was stillborn in 2006.

She said: “Kai had been in and out of hospital a few times and his immune system seemed to be low because he was premature. But two weeks before he died he weighed 8lb and was picking up.”

On the day he died, her mum, Jennifer (40), discovered Kai was struggling to breathe when she went to check on him around 8 a.m.

She said: “I dialled 999 and asked for an ambulance. I gave my postcode but kept being told my address was showing up in England not Scotland.”

Eventually two ambulances turned up at the family’s home in Skaithmuir Avenue and paramedics rushed to aid the baby.

Nursery nurse Laura added: “I had to go outside because I couldn’t stand to watch. The paramedic just came in, grabbed Kai and rushed him out to the ambulance.”

Andrew (23), a warehouse operator, had been at his mum’s home in Bainsford when the message came that his little son was ill.

Rushing to be with Laura, he arrived at the same time as the ambulances.

He said: “They took Kai inside and shut the door.”

Meanwhile, Laura’s dad Sandy (53), who suffers from heart problems, collapsed. He was put in the other ambulance and taken along with his grandson to the Stirling hospital.

Fortunately, he recovered quickly and medics believe he had a panic attack.

Laura said: “We were shown into a room to wait. We kept wondering why the ambulance had taken so long and if Kai would have had a better chance if they’d got there quicker.”

Andrew added: “The nurse came to get us and showed us what they were doing for him. But later someone came in to say he had died.”

Kai’s death certificate states the cause of death as inconclusive and the family is still waiting to hear the results of blood tests.

Laura added: “This has been terrible. We can’t believe that someone would refuse to turn out to help a sick baby.

‘‘Whatever they find out with their investigation, I hope this never happens to anyone else.”

Ambulance chiefs insist a crew arrived at the house seven minutes after receiving the details.

However, they admit an investigation is being carried out into a delayed response to the emergency call and that a member of staff has been suspended.