A HEARTBROKEN dad has told of his desperate dash to say goodbye to his dying six-year-old son when he contracted sepsis – after medics repeatedly sent him home with Calpol.
Thomas Horridge devastatingly missed seeing little Connor alive for the last time by just 30 minutes after the lad collapsed at home.
Connor Horridge collapsed shouting ‘mummy, my legs’ as he fell victim to lethal killer sepsis
The 38-year-old had dashed from London to Wigan when his ex-partner Joanne called to say Connor had been rushed into hospital.
Dad-of-two Thomas said: “I will never forgive myself for not being there for him when he died. I missed it by 30 minutes.
“I did everything I could to get to him, but by the time I got there he was gone.
“I never got the chance to say goodbye to him. That will live with me forever.
“All I could hear was the hospital machines beeping and everyone crying.
“I can still hear that noise now every time I close my eyes.”
The six-year-old was repeatedly sent home by doctors who said he would ‘get better’
The loving dad had spoken to Connor on the phone just hours before his death on December 18.
The six-year-old, who had been complaining of ear ache and sickness for five days, was due to stay over at his house that evening but his symptoms quickly worsened.
He collapsed shouting “mummy, my legs” and died in hospital later that evening.
Just 24 hours before, his family were allegedly told it was “nothing to be majorly concerned about” and it would “probably” be a viral infection.
He was discharged and advised to continue taking Calpol and told “he would get better”, Bolton Coroner’s Court heard last week.
Thomas from Wigan, Greater Manchester, said: “We spoke that afternoon on the phone while I was in London. He was looking forward to staying at my house that night. I told him I was going to look after him.
“He loves anything to do with the underground and trains so I brought him back maps from London.
“I never go the chance to show them to him so I put them in his coffin.
He added: “I want people to learn from what happened to Connor.
“You know your own child. Do not take the words of doctors – trust your instinct.”
The youngster complained of ear ache and sickness before he died
Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan accepted that there were “missed opportunities”, but said no one could have predicted the outcome as the infection took over so “rapidly”.
Dr Martin Farrier, a consultant paediatrician, explained that by the time he was diagnosed it was “too late”.
He said: “In my experience sepsis takes 24 hours to invade the body, but this usually happens within a 12 hour time window, so I believe Connor got poorly overnight, and that was when he contracted the sepsis.
“I do not believe that the other doctors or nurses could have done anything more as there was nothing to examine at the time, apart from the viral infection.
“They played the ‘wait and see’ approach, which I believe was the correct way to go about things in this case.”
Connor’s medical cause of death on December 18, 2016, was recorded as 1A Group A Streptococcal Septicaemia.
Giving evidence at the Bolton hearing, Mr Horridge said: “He had a bright and bubbly personality, he was boisterous, loud, energetic. He had everything to live for. He was funny and full of life.
“He would always make himself known if he wanted something. He was a typical six year old boy.
“We thought he was getting worse, but listened to the advice of the doctor and took him home.
“Our concerns are that if the doctors would have examined Connor properly, this could have had an entirely different outcome for our son.
“They don’t currently conduct blood tests on children as they believe it will hurt them and make them upset, but it could have saved our little boy’s life.”
His parents say Connor was their ‘little hero’
Recording a natural causes conclusion, Coroner Timothy Brennand, said: “Connor was a bright, energetic, funny little boy who loved life and I have no doubt that he was at his happiest when he was with you, his parents.
“I am very sorry we had to meet in these circumstances. I can only hope that you have got some peace of knowing that the doctors did everything they could.”
After the inquest, Ms Horridge, said: “His death showed he had done something with his life. I’m glad his death mattered for something and will help other children. I feel he’s got justice.
“He wouldn’t want us to be crying and upset, he’d want us to be laughing and happy. He was my brave little boy. He was such a little rascal. Such a little hero, he was my little soldier and I’ll love him forever.”
A spokesman for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust appreciates how difficult the inquest will have been and sends its sincere condolences to Connor’s family.”