At just eight weeks old, little Brooklyn Blelloch has been through more than many full-grown adults.
But after 35 days spent in hospital being treated for meningitis, Brooklyn’s parents, Lauren and Darren, were delighted and relieved to finally take him home.
And while the couple, who live in Camelon, have nothing but praise for the nurses on Forth Valley Royal Hospital children’s ward, the parents have complained at the care their son received.
In particular, they are furious that, after 13 days of treatment, Brooklyn was discharged from hosptial a day early, without finishing his last four doses of antibiotics.
“We were told that in the worst case scenario, he’d be in hospital for 21 days.
“They then told us he would be on antibiotics for 14 days.”
However, on day the last day of treatment, at 1am, Brooklyn’s cannula stopped working and the family was told the baby could stop the antibiotic, despite being four doses short.
The next day, Brooklyn was so unsettled that Lauren called the ward and was told to bring him back in.
He was re-cannulated – but for such a young baby it is impossible to use a cannula for any length of time, so this time he was injected into his thighs.
Once more, they were sent home, until Lauren got a call telling her to bring Brooklyn back to the ward, where she was told a further 14 days treatment on a stronger antibiotic was needed.
She and Darren were shocked to be told that bugs were still in his system.
“Firstly, we were told that bugs were there but they were dead. Then we were told by a locum doctor that even dead these bugs could lead to brain damage!”
The couple were infuriated by constantly having to chase up information. We never saw the same doctor twice and we got so much conflicting information!” said Lauren.
They also believe there was a lack of proper attention to the timing of antibiotics, and have now writte n to the health board to complain.
“I was told to write my points down and take it to the ward where someone would speak to me – that never happened.
“I now find it difficult to believe anything they say!”
Another miscommunication resulted in Brooklyn being taken to Glasgow for an MRI scan with a letter saying he should be given an anaesthetic for the procedure.
“I knew he wouldn’t sleep, but they put him in this great big machine awake and screaming,” she said.
“It was really upsetting and a total waste of time!”
“I don’t think we were taken seriously – meningitis is a dangerous illness.”
A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley said they had received a complaint: “We are currently investigating the concerns raised and will respond to the family directly.