A COUPLE who “lived for their little boy” have said they want answers about their disabled son’s death 24 hours after visiting his GP.

Sean-Paul Roberts-Woodford died at home in Milford Haven on January 11, 2018, aged 11.

His parents Sacha-Lee Roberts and Mark Woodford took him to the doctor the day before his death and think more should have been done to care for him in the months beforehand.

Sean-Paul contracted meningitis as a baby and lived with complex medical needs; he had cerebral palsy and could not walk, talk or hear, and needed full-time, around the clock care from his parents.

“We loved it, we loved every second of it,” said Sacha-Lee. “We lived for our little boy.”

Milford Mercury:

At the inquest hearing into Sean-Paul’s death on Friday, July 5, Sacha told the court she was “angrier than she had ever been” after her son’s death.

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She said she had questions about why her son could not have been admitted to hospital and why when he was offered the flu jab in the past, he was not given the option of the nasal spray vaccination.

The court heard from Dr Aidan Cohen, the GP on duty at Barlow House Surgery, Milford Haven on January 10 last year who saw Sean-Paul.

Dr Cohen said he had met with Sean-Paul and his dad Mark and was told he had been suffering with a chest infection.

He had spent time in Glangwili hospital in November 2017 and had also received antibiotics from Withybush Hospital on December 30, 2017.

Dr Cohen’s notes from the time said Sean-Paul’s dad had requested more antibiotics, as he often required a longer course than normal for the drugs to work.

The notes added Sean-Paul appeared to be recovering from his chest infection, although he still had a “rattly” sound when he breathed.

Dr Andrew James Burton, a retired GP, gave expert evidence to the inquest, and said in his opinion a GP should have performed an adequate examination of Sean-Paul.

According to Dr Burton, this examination should have included questions to Sean-Paul’s dad followed by physical checks including inspecting his chest for signs of why he had developed a cough.

Professor Parviz Habibi, a paediatric intensive care specialist, was asked if a full examination would have led to Sean-Paul being admitted to hospital, and if hospital care could have saved his life.

Professor Habibi referred to a post-mortem report which gave the cause of Sean-Paul’s death as bronchiolitis, likely to have been brought on by the flu.

Milford Mercury:

He said Sean-Paul could have contracted flu as little as one day before his death, depending on the strain, and that a retroviral drug called Tamiflu would have been the best way to treat him.

“We cannot say on the balance of probabilities he would have survived – but of course, 50-50 is a better chance than zero,” said Professor Habibi.

Dr Robert Davies also appeared on behalf of Barlow House Surgery and said a glitch in the surgery’s system had meant Sean-Paul’s name was not included on its list of high priority patients who required a flu jab.

The error meant that after Sean-Paul’s parents had requested he had the nasal spray flu jab, this had been recorded as a refusal, and they had not been contacted each year with a reminder to vaccinate Sean-Paul.

Dr Davies said the system error had now been corrected.

Sean-Paul’s parents are hoping lessons can be learned from his death.

“I don’t want this to happen to someone else’s poor child,” said his dad, Mark.

“I was so close to my little boy,” he added. “To be without him is like being without my left arm.”

The inquest is set to conclude on Thursday, July 25.