'I am living in fear': Teesside mother wants paralysed son's 'do not resuscitate' order lifted

June Hackett said her son Kristopher shows signs of improvement after suffering brain damage during a cardiac arrest last year. Credit: Gazette Media Company

A Teesside mother wants her paralysed son's 'do not resuscitate order' lifted after he suffered brain damage during a series of cardiac arrests last year.

Medics have said June Hackett's son 35-year-old Kristopher Hackett is irreversibly brain damaged and would not survive resuscitation and it is also extremely unlikely that he will ever open his eyes again, walk or talk.

However, Ms Hackett said he is showing signs of improvement.

She said: "He does open his eyes. He grips our hands and he lunges forward. He does recognise my voice and he definitely tries to talk.

"They say he wouldn't survive another cardiac arrest, but how do they know?

"I am living in fear every day because if he becomes poorly and stops breathing they are just going to let him die."

Kristopher Hackett loved cycling and running before he suffered series of cardiac arrests. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

Ms Hackett said her son was a super-fit young man who loved running and cycling when he suddenly suffered a series of cardiac arrests.

Kristopher Hackett, who is being cared for at a nursing home in Peterlee, had been out for a run in July 2021 before he returned to his mum's house.

Ms Hackett said he was in the kitchen and she heard a loud thud.

She said: "I was on the phone to my friend and said it sounded like he had knocked the table over or something."However, when she went into the kitchen her son was collapsed on the floor.

She said: "He was grey and his lips were blue. There was no pulse or heartbeat."

Ms Hackett said paramedics worked on her son for 65 minutes and finally got a heartbeat.

He has since spent eight months in North Tees University Hospital where he fought off sepsis, six bouts of pneumonia, Covid and a blood clot on his lung.

Ms Hackett, 66, who lives in Stockton, now travels a 40-mile round trip every day to sit by the bedside.

She has told of her anguish after the hospital trust placed on his record that attempts should not be made to resuscitate him if he stopped breathing again.

It comes with particular grief as the mum-of-seven's youngest son, Matthew, 32, was paralysed in a car crash in 2018 for which the driver was jailed.

A Do Not Attempt CPR (DNACPR) order is put in place when medics believe resuscitation would be unsuccessful.

June Hackett said her son is showing signs of improvement and the do not resuscitate order should be lifted. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

Ms Hackett said the situation is awful for the whole family who are struggling with it and she now hopes to fight the order through the courts.

She said: "I just want them to take the DNR off. If he did die when they were trying to resuscitate him then I could accept that.

"I would know deep in my heart he had been given a final chance and I would be able to sleep at night."

Mr Hackett has spent eight months in hospital where he has fought off sepsis, six bouts of pneumonia, covid and a blood clot on his lung. Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA SYNDICATION

A North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: "It would not be appropriate for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to comment on individual cases but of course we understand how difficult this experience has been for Mrs Hackett and her family.

"We have been in contact with Mrs Hackett and would be more than happy to meet with her in person to discuss the care we provided for her son. We constantly review cases to look for learning opportunities and the input from families plays an essential part in this process."

The trust spokesman said the DNACPR is not withdrawal of care but a decision made from a clinical perspective when resuscitation would not be successful.

He added: "While we aim to discuss the introduction of a DNACPR with family members, it is not always possible to do so. DNACPR's can be reviewed as needed."

A friend of Kristopher's has set up a gofundme page in a bid to raise money so his family can pay for a solicitor to take legal action in a bid to have the DNACPR removed.

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