The outraged parents of a 10-month-old baby boy who died while on holiday in Portugal have demanded justice and answers after lengthy delays allegedly led to their son's death.
Deza Powell and Paul Larochelle, from London, were early into the family trip when their infant son, Adonis Powell-Larochelle, suddenly fell ill on May 17. Just 48 hours later, he died from sepsis, the couple told the BBC.
“He was eating and sleeping well, but then he got a fever. Then he had difficulty breathing and we went to the hospital,” Deza explained.
However, she said doctors assured her he was suffering from a simple “viral infection” and she had “nothing worry about”. They were reportedly sent back to their accomodation with an asthma pump, ibuprofen and paracetamol.
“Little did we know that our world would crumble a day later after being discharged,” she said on a GoFundMe created for the family.
'Like a rag doll'
The next day, the baby’s condition rapidly deteriorated, with his mum telling the BBC he looked “like a rag doll”. “He was so floppy and his eye was swollen,” she added. The worried parents rushed back to the Portimão hospital in southern Portugal, where further tests were carried out.
They were reportedly told Adonis had been stabilised and would be transferred by ambulance to an intensive care unit at a larger hospital in Lisbon.
“Our hopes were high, desperately clinging to the belief that medical professionals would provide the care he so desperately needed,” Deza said. “But our hearts sank as we endured an agonising six-hour delay in transporting him to a specialised hospital.
“Six hours felt like an eternity, stealing precious time that Adonis could have spent fighting for his life. The crucial treatment Adonis required never reached him during those excruciating hours.” The 10-month-old died on May 19.
Parents demand 'an apology'
Deza and Paul are now demanding “responsibility” and “an apology” for how they say they were treated.
“Our family now stands united in seeking justice for Adonis,” they wrote on the GoFundMe, which will raise funds to hire a lawyer. “We are determined to uncover the truth, to shed light on the circumstances that led to this heartbreaking loss.”
The Portuguese Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro, reportedly said that he “deeply regrets the outcome of this case” and sent “heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
Portuguese authorities said that “everything possible was done” but have reportedly not explained the alleged lengthy delay. An investigation is underway.
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