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NHS statement regarding death of Mylee

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has issued a statement following the conclusion of the inquest in to the death of four-year-old Mylee Weetman who died at Leeds General Infirmary following heart surgery.

“I would like to reiterate my deepest sympathy to Mylee’s family for their loss and fully understand their need to know how their daughter died.

“I hope this hearing, although painful for them, will have provided the answers they needed.

“There has been a very thorough examination of the facts of the case and the Coroner concluded that while the surgery was performed correctly, Mylee sadly suffered a micro-embolic air embolism which is a rare but recognised complication of this procedure.

“I would like to thank all the staff at Leeds Children’s Hospital and the external experts who gave evidence to assist the Coroner in reaching his verdict.”

– Dr Yvette Oade, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Family says there are 'still questions' about Mylee's death

Mylee Weetman

"We would like to thank the Coroner for carrying out this painstaking investigation into the death of our little girl. We have great respect for his determination to uncover the truth, and this has given us some comfort in what has been an awful time.

We still, however, have questions about Mylee's treatment at Leeds. The staff involved in her care gave no explanation for why she died, neither at the time of her death nor during the Inquest. We felt as if they were trying to convince us that it was just 'one of those things', or maybe that the hospital was in denial about what had happened. The Coroner found that Mylee's brain damage had been caused by an air embolism passing from one part of her heart to another, resulting in a stroke.

We now know that a hole in Mylee's heart, known as a VSD, had not healed over by the time of her operation, and that this left her vulnerable to air bubbles in her bloodstream. We need to know why, if there were doubts about whether the hole in Mylee's heart was still present, more steps were not taken to minimise the risks to her during and after surgery.

Difficult as it was to hear, we are glad that the Coroner heard the comments of a neurologist about whether Mylee might have survived, even if she might have suffered lifelong brain damage. The neurologist did not accept the argument that the death was unexplained, and pointed to the probability of an identifiable cause.

It has been so distressing to relive the events around Mylee's death. There have been no easy answers for us throughout this process, but we have to know the truth. It hurts even more to know that there are other families who feel that their children were harmed at the Leeds heart unit; only a week after we lost Mylee, the unit was temporarily closed down, and this only makes us more anxious about the care that children were receiving there.

We hope that lessons will be learned from Mylee's story, and that this will go some way to preventing this from happening to anybody else's child. We will never forget Mylee, and we owe it to her to find the truth about what happened to her.

– The family of Mylee Weetman

Coroner records 'narrative verdict' at Mylee's inquest

Mylee Weetman

The coroner in the inquest of a little girl who died after surgery complications at a controversial children's heart unit ruled a "narrative verdict" on her death.

Four-year-old Mylee Weetman lost her battle when surgery to remove excess muscle in her heart led to two strokes, causing her brain to be "starved of oxygen".

She died days later, shortly before the unit at Leeds General Infirmary, West Yorks., was shut over concerns of its high death rates.

An inquest into the youngster's death heard how she could have been saved had doctors performed the correct scans and recognised the seizures sooner.

The two-week hearing at Wakefield Coroners' Court also heard how mother Siobhan Casey was "still waiting" for answers as to why Mylee died.

Mylee, from Doncaster, South Yorks., had been born with a heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot, meaning she had a hole in her heart as well as other complications.

She had surgery to correct this when she was 13 months - although was told she'd need further surgery to remove excess muscle in March 2013.

She died after extensive brain damage following the surgery.

Hull nurse to retire after over half a century of service

She is thought to be the longest serving nurse in the country but now, after 56 years, Jean Walker is calling it a day.

Jean began work at the Hull royal infirmary at the tender age of 17, and has spent most of her career in the hospitals emergency department.

But as James Webster now reports, even though she is retiring, Jean will not be completely disappearing from the wards:

Duchess of York backs be a hero campaign

Transplant patients at Leeds Children's Hospital welcomed a special visitor today - the Duchess of York.

Sarah Ferguson is the new patron of the hospital's Be A Hero campaign, which aims to get more people to sign up to become organ donors in the event of their death.

She met youngsters who are having treatment, including those who owe their lives to deceased donors.

Sally Simpson reports:


'Look Good Feel Better' workshops begin for women with cancer

Now, we hear a lot about efforts to raise money for cancer charities, and the never-ending fight to find better treatments and ultimately a cure.

But there is one charity which works with patients to make them look and feel better.

Those undergoing treatment are often left feeling tired and sick, but their physical appearance can also change, too.

"Look Good Feel Better" holds workshops in Sheffield, Lincoln and Hull for women and teenagers. The aim, quite simply, is to boost their confidence. Tamsin Eames reports:

Funeral held for fundraising cancer patient

The funeral of a woman who campaigned for a cancer drug to be available on the NHS took place today. There was standing room only at the church in Leeds, where Laura Loftus had celebrated her wedding just a couple of years before.

The congregation heard how Laura had defied doctors and had been 'determined to live' - even keeping her condition secret so guests could enjoy her wedding day. She held fund-raising events herself, to pay for the drug which cost £1,000 a week.

Helen Steel reports:

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