Grieving father claims son's life could have been saved by second medical opinion

  • By Senior Correspondent Ronke Phillips

In the days leading up to his son's death a father from Finchley said he'd pleaded with doctors to change the treatment he was being given.

Jay Patel's son Balram died at St Thomas' Hospital last month after his lungs were flooded.

Jay said doctors refused to listen when he asked for a second opinion about his son's care and said his treatment was "disgusting". Balram Patel died at St Thomas' Hospital on August 9. He had several disabilities and delayed development. He was aged 30 but acted like he was eight-years-old. He lived with his family providing 24 hour care at home. "He was our life and still is. We miss Balram very much and our home now feels like a shell. But we have to get on top of it and there is nothing we can do," said Balram's dad Jay Patel. Balram also had liver cancer and in July was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital with an infection which caused his body to swell up and retain fluid. He was initially treated with oral diuretics but it didn't work so the drugs were admitted intravenously which was more effective. When there was a Covid outbreak on the ward doctors decided it would be safer to treat Balram at home but no arrangements were made for anyone to inject the drugs so he went back to taking them orally. Jay said he asked for a second opinion but it was denied.

Jay pictured with Balram Credit: Family handout

He added: "They didn't work before and they were not going to work now so I asked for a second opinion.

"But they didn't grant me that. They said the consultant dealing with my son was the man who would give the second opinion and there was no time to get anything different. To make matters worse the build up of fluid in Balram's lungs was not initially mentioned as the cause of death and was only added after his father complained.

The whole experience has added to the family's grief. "He did not need to go in that discomfort and didn't need to go in that pain and did not need to go before his time. I don't know what his time was - none of us will know. But we do know that was not it," Jay said. The hospital trust has extended its deepest sympathies to the family and say their concerns will be fully investigated. Determined to change things for the better Jay Patel has set up a foundation called Patients Lives Matter in memory of his son. Jay said: "He has gone and I can't bring him back. But what I do know he can do is make sure no one else goes through what I went through ans what my family has goen through and what Balram has gone through."

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