The mother of a baby who died after swallowing a battery has given emotional evidence at an inquest into her daughter’s death.
Isabella Rees was found in her cot, covered in blood, after being sent home from Melbourne’s Sunshine Hospital three times in 2015.
The coroner is now seeing what can be done to prevent other families suffering a similar tragedy.
The young girl was just 14 months old when she died after swallowing a button battery that lodged in her esophagus.
In January 2015, her parents took her to Sunshine Hospital when she appeared to have trouble breathing.
Over the next three days the baby girl vomited and had a fever.
During a second hospital visit, her mother Allison found part of a water balloon in her nappy.
“I was very concerned and focused about what she had swallowed but they told me it was passing through her and there was nothing to worry about,” she revealed in court.
The court heard the hospital believed there were inconsistencies in Ms Rees’ account – something she disputes.
“Every time we went we were just disregarded and turned away. They never believed us, they just weren’t listening,” she said.
On February 4, Bella’s mother woke at 5am to find her little girl in her cot soaked in blood.
They rushed her to hospital, but she died on the operating table.
“I was saying ‘come on Bell, stay with us, come on angel, don’t leave us yet,” Ms Rees said.
“We stood with her for 10 minutes and held her hands and then they called time of death.”
The court heard that two months after Bella’s death, Ms Rees had an anxiety attack when she saw button batteries displayed at the shops.
It was what prompted her to start a campaign called Bella’s Footprints – which educates parents on the dangers of button batteries.
The inquest will run for another four days with 16 more witnesses to be called upon.