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'My baby would still be alive if I had been given the right advice': Mother tells ITV News

Melissa Mead Credit: ITV News

The mother of a baby who died from sepsis as a result of a chest infection has said she believes her son would still be alive if she had been given the right advice by doctors and the 111 NHS helpline.

Melissa Mead, 29, of Penryn in Cornwall, was speaking after an NHS England report found that 16 mistakes had contributed to the death of her 12-month-old son William in December 2014.

Mrs Mead said: "We were just reassured that actually most kids have coughs for three or four months over the winter period so we thought that was what was happening.

"What actually was happening is that William had a chest infection and that went undiagnosed, no antibiotics were prescribed. That chest infection developed into pneumonia. He had a bit of fluid in his chest cavity which gave way to sepsis which is what took his life in those last 36 hours."

In an emotional interview with ITV News, Mrs Mead described finding her son dead in his bed two months after he had developed what medics had just considered to be a cough:

Several GPs and the 111 NHS helpline had failed to spot the signs of sepsis - a deadly condition that can be treated if spotted early.

Mrs Mead said: "You are in shock. It's indescribable because you know that's there nothing you can do.

"You can't control the situation. You've done everything you can do to be the best parent and you've been let down by people that you trust and multiple agencies and looking back on that moment I will always say 'what if I did this, what if I did that', but at the time I did what I was told to do.

"I didn't know what sepsis was, I didn't know what to look out for. If i'd have known, put all those symptoms together, I would have gone to A&E."

Mrs Mead said an inquest into William's death was told that if the symptoms had been spotted by medics he would have survived.

"Even as late as the Saturday when we called the 111 and then the out of hours doctor, had he been sent for an urgent referral he would have survived."

Asked whether the apologies she had received from those involved had helped, she said: "It allows you to realise that they have recognised that there is an issue, that they have taken responsibility and that they are accountable for their actions."

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