17 May 2022

Fresh inquest to be held into death of Raychel Ferguson

A new inquest has been ordered into the death of Dery school girl Raychel Ferguson who died after a routine operation to remove her appendix.


A fresh inquest is to held into the death of Raychel Ferguson.

A new inquest has been ordered into the death of Dery school girl Raychel Ferguson who died after a routine operation to remove her appendix.
The nine-year-old died of a condition called hyponatraemia, which results from low levels of sodium in blood and can occur when intravenous fluids are given incorrectly.
She passed away at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in June 2011, one day after being admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital.
A 14-year-long inquiry into the deaths of five children, including Raychel chaired by Sir John O'Hara, found that four of their deaths had been preventable.
He said Raychel's death was the result of "negligent care" and highlighted a "reluctance among clinicians to openly acknowledge failings" in Raychel's death.
He also said there was an "indefensible" culture in which parents were "deliberately misled" by doctors and health trust chiefs.
A previous inquest into Raychel's death in 2003 was branded a “shambles” by her parents.
Attorney General for the North, John Larkin, has now directed the coroner to hold a second inquest into her death, which is expected to get under way next year.
Raychel's mother, Marie Ferguson, said she would not give up until she found out all the facts surrounding her daughter's death.
Speaking earlier this week, she said: "All we ever wanted from the start was the truth and we didn't get it."
A spokesperson for the Western Health Trust said it would not comment on individual cases but it "always cooperates fully and openly in every coroner's inquest".
The Trust admitted liability for her death in 2013.
Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion welcomed the announcement of a new inquest.
“The Ferguson family - like all those affected by hyponatremia - have been waiting too long for the truth," said the Foyle MP.
“They are entitled to answers about the death of their daughter and I hope that this process will lead to some form of closure.
“The Western Trust must co-operate fully with the inquest to ensure the Ferguson family can get the answers they deserve.”

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