September 27th, 2016

Knowle father wants answers after death of ten-week-old son

Updated: 9:59 am, Jan 25, 2016

THE PARENTS of a ten-week-old baby who lost his life seven days after leaving hospital after battling meningitis are demanding answers.

Ralphie Plant was found dead in his Moses basket on January 16.

His dad Ricky Plant, 32, from Knowle, and his mum Nicole Pike, 26, claim they told doctors there was something not right with Ralphie and they didn’t want him discharged.

The couple are calling for justice for their son and for questions to be answered about his death.

And they are also warning other parents to listen to their instincts when they think something is wrong with their child.

Nicole said: “If I had only listened to my instincts then my gorgeous little man would still be here.

“I’m heartbroken and need answers and want Ralphie to get the justice he truly deserves.”

Ralphie was first rushed to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital on December 10 and transferred to Nottingham University Hospital after being diagnosed with RSV bronchitis.

All seemed well in the subsequent weeks, but the tragic youngster was re-admitted to the hospital on January 1, put on a critical care unit and again treated for bronchitis.

He was put on medication for the bronchitis and to stabilise his breathing before being given a lumbar puncture to test for meningitis the following day – a delay the parents say could have been crucial.

There is no treatment for viral meningitis so Ralphie was kept in hospital and monitored and was sent home six days later by doctors who were happy with his recovery.

This decision, his parents claim, was against their wishes and better judgement as they knew something wasn’t right with him and protested this fact to the doctors.

After attending her local GP for check-ups and further tests, as per the hospital’s advice, Nicole woke up that fateful January 16 morning to every parent’s worst nightmare – her beautiful Ralphie was lifeless in his Moses basket.

And now the couple want answers and to warn other parents to listen to their hearts.

Ricky said: “If someone had listened to use he would still be here.

“I would like to tell other parents if you’re not happy – get a second opinion.

“You know your child better than anyone – make sure you’re happy before you go home, we were not happy.”

Dr Jonathan Evans, Divisional Director for the Nottingham Children’s Hospital, confirmed Ralphie was discharged after a six-day stay in hospital after making a good recovery.

He added:”Doctors were satisfied there was no abnormal swelling and Ralphie’s observations gave no cause for concern.

“We referred Ralphie for a test at his local hospital in response to the family’s concerns about his hearing.

“We also arranged for a health visitor to check Ralphie’s progress at his home.

“I extend my sincere condolences to Ralphie’s family for their devastating loss.”

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