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Aussie dad, 25, dies after collapsing at home with common infection

Blake Chown died on June 28 after falling ill with tonsillitis, but he had been sent home twice after going to hospital.

A young mum has described the heart-wrenching moment she frantically worked to keep her partner of six years alive after he suddenly collapsed in their home in front of one of their young children.

Blake Chown died in Wagga Wagga Base Hospital on June 28 following what appeared to be an innocuous bout of tonsillitis, leaving behind a three-year-old daughter, a two-year-old son and their devastated mother Ebonie Dowdy.

Dad-of-two Blake Chown, who died after falling ill with tonsillitis.
Dad-of-two Blake Chown died on June 28 after falling ill with tonsillitis. Source: GoFundMe

Just five days earlier, Blake — who spent his 25th birthday on life support — had gone to the hospital with a common throat infection and was given a steroid injection. He was told to come back if he was unable to swallow, family member Tayla Dowdy explained in a GoFundMe created to support his shocked family.

Young dad's last words after collapsing at home

The next day, in the early hours, Blake began to have difficulty breathing and drove himself back to the hospital so he wouldn’t “wake his young family”. But when the 25-year-old removalist returned home with prescription medication he woke up Ebonie “gasping for breath”.

“He went to use the toilet and I was on the phone to emergency services, he collapsed,” the heartbroken mum told The Daily Telegraph. “I had to resuscitate him and our three-year-old came in and saw the whole thing.”

Ebonie fought to keep her long-time love alive for five minutes and was able to finally regain his pulse. She told the publication his last words to her were “babe I can’t breathe, I feel like I’m dying”.

Blake with his partner Ebonie and their two children and with Ebonie while she was pregnant.
Blake's heartbroken wife frantically tried to keep him alive as their young daughter watched on. Source: Facebook

Paramedics rushed the “very critical” 25-year-old to hospital where he was put into a coma and diagnosed with epiglottitis — an enlargement of the flap at the base of the tongue. The swelling had triggered a cardiac arrest.

Heartbroken family feel 'let down' by hospital

Ebonie told The Daily Telegraph she knew her partner wasn’t going to return from the moment he left their home.

“Blake continued to show deteriorating signs while his family sat out around his bedside for four days waiting for a little sign of improvement,” the GoFundMe reads. “Extensive tests continued to show that Blake was not responding despite extensive efforts from the ICU team and the many tears and hope shared from his family and friends.”

The young dad had suffered significant brain damage as a result of lack of oxygen and died surrounded by loved ones. His family, who decided to donate Blake’s organs, has vented their frustration over the hospital’s decision to send the young man home not once, but twice.

“Blake celebrated his 25th birthday in hospital fighting for his life when all he wanted to do was go fishing. Now, we are planning his funeral,” the GoFundMe says. “As a family, we will never understand how someone with no previous medical history was denied the help he needed twice, and was dismissed as having a self-limiting disease and just needed to rest.

“Patients believe and trust the opinions of health professionals, though Blake was let down, and now it has robbed him and our family of the next 60-80 years of his life with his children. How does this happen?”

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