Girl dies after mistakenly diagnosed with tummy bug

A seven-year-old girl has died from a blood clot in her heart just days after a doctor told her parents she had a stomach bug.

When schoolgirl Isabellaann Battiscombe, from Cardiff, Wales, started to feel unwell around two weeks ago, her GP said it was a tummy bug.

But her condition continued to deteriorate, and on February 12 the "happy, bubbly, funny little girl" died in hospital.

Parents Janine, 40, and Steven Battiscombe, 49, took her to the GP just days before because she was sick and could hardly walk.

"She was being sick and we thought she had a tummy bug. I took her to the doctors the next day and that doctor said it's a tummy bug, go home, give her some Calpol and maybe paracetamol," Ms Battiscombe said.

"She started being more unwell. She didn't want to get up, she even asked her daddy if he could pick her up to go to the toilet and I said there's something wrong here."

Seven-year-old Isabellaann Battiscombe died from a blood clot. Source: Media Wales/Australscope
Seven-year-old Isabellaann Battiscombe died from a blood clot. Source: Media Wales/Australscope

After then speaking to a different doctor a few days later, the young girl was sent to the University Hospital of Wales for a suspected chest infection.

Ms Battiscombe had to stay home to look after her two other children, a five-year-old and a 15-year-old, while the dad went to the hospital.

Doctors began treatment for a chest infection and she initially seemed to respond well.

Then on February 11 the family were informed their daughter would be taken to another part of the hospital, not realising she was being transferred to intensive care.

"The next minute I'm being called by my husband saying she's being taken to intensive care. They're shoving all these pipes in her everywhere and pumping different things into her," Ms Battiscombe said.

After arriving at the hospital and hearing how serious her daughter's condition really was, Ms Battiscombe said she felt her "heart stop".

"How did she get so ill? Then all of a sudden they said they might have to transfer her to Bristol to have an emergency operation for her heart because of the blood clot," she said.

"They let us see her and then a couple of minutes after they said you're going to have to get ready so you can go to Bristol yourselves."

Girl takes 'turn for the worse'

The pair went off to get petrol and sort out childcare, but shortly afterwards the hospital called saying their daughter had taken a "turn for the worse" and to return straight away.

They arrived at the room where Isabellaann was being cared for, when a senior doctor informed them she had passed away.

"They were explaining some of the stuff but I couldn't understand it because my head had just gone. I couldn't create. It just knocked me for six," Ms Battiscombe said.

"From start to finish, from going to the doctors to going to the hospital and when she died, I just don't understand why they took so long to diagnose her. We're just devastated."

A post-mortem found that she had suffered from a pulmonary embolism, the family said.

Seven-year-old Isabellaann Battiscombe with mum Janine. Source: Media Wales/Australscope
Seven-year-old Isabellaann Battiscombe with mum Janine. Source: Media Wales/Australscope

Paying tribute to their daughter Ms Battiscombe added: "She was a happy, bubbly, funny little girl. Always with a smile on her face."

"She loved her school and she had a lot of friends. She was just the life and soul of everything.

"When she would walk into a room it'd light up. She was just a little angel. I just want her back."

The headteacher of Isabellaann's school also paid tribute, describing the young pupil as having "the most beautiful smile".

A spokesperson for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said their condolences were with the family at this incredibly sad time.

"The family are receiving additional support by our bereavement nurse and they will continue to support them," the spokesperson said.


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