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I was made to feel like a neurotic parent by doctors who sent my daughter home with a deadly bug

A mother whose girl was fighting for her life in a coma said she initially felt accused by doctors of being a “neurotic parent”.

Toni Tuson, 38, claims her teenage daughter Harri was discharged from the emergency room despite a blood test that confirmed she had an infection.

Toni Tuson's daughter Harri ended up fighting for her life after being initially discharged by doctors in the emergency room

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Toni Tuson’s daughter Harri ended up fighting for her life after being initially discharged by doctors in the emergency roomCredit: Mercury
Harri was placed in an induced coma for six days as she battled meningitis

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Harri was placed in an induced coma for six days as she battled meningitisCredit: Mercury

The mother of two later feared she was losing then-12-year-old Harri when she was eventually hospitalized with a serious illness and brain swelling.

Harri was put into a coma and appeared “brain dead” for days after waking up.

Toni, who shared Harris’ story to encourage other parents to trust their instincts, said: “Harri is very lucky to be alive.

“At one point she was so unstable that the doctors prepared me for the worst.

“It was horrific as I had been in the ER and ER with her all day but we were sent home.

“In hindsight, and based on all the research I’ve done since then, I shouldn’t have gone.

“But we were there for eight hours and I felt like a neurotic parent and that nothing was wrong, so I had to trust the doctor’s word and go home.”

It all started with a cold last June when Harry had a runny nose and a headache.

After a week is the schoolgirl temperature rose and she trembled.

Toni, a business information manager from Eltham, London, said: “Your body became too speckled but a dose of acetaminophen masked it and made her look better than she was.”

Toni took Harri to the ER and claims the doctor diagnosed Harri with a virus – but deep down she knew it was something sinister.

She pleaded for a blood test as Harri looked “grey and unwell”.

Toni said: “My gut feeling told me this wasn’t just a cold or a virus.

“I had to push for a blood test and markers came back that would indicate infection, but we were discharged.”

Toni was lying at the foot of her daughter’s bed and around 2am Harri woke up and went to the toilet but did not return to her room.

Toni said: “She was completely beside herself and didn’t even know where she was.

“She was staring right through me looking brain damaged. I was shocked.

“One student was taller than the other and I later found out it was a seizure.”

An ambulance arrived and they were taken back to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, London, where Harri was placed in an induced coma for six days.

Toni adds: “A CT scan determined it was a brain infection and they immediately started antibiotics.

“We were then transferred to Kings College Hospital in London for an MRI scan and she was diagnosed with meningitis.”

meningitis is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.

Toni said: “I was in shock as she didn’t have the symptoms I was familiar with – like a non-fading rash or sensitivity to light.”

A meningitis Non-fading rash is when a rash does not fade when a glass is rolled over it.

However, the NHS says a rash does not always develop.

Miscellaneous Signs of the serious condition These include sensitivity to light, seizures, feeling sleepy or unresponsive, a stiff neck, headache, and nausea.

Doctors also discovered that Harri had encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain.

Toni said: “When we got to Kings we were told there was a good chance she would need surgery to take the pressure off her brain.

“They said they would do anything to protect their brains but prepared us for the worst by saying some people don’t even wake up.”

On the fifth day in the coma, doctors tried to wake Harri up, but her left lung collapsed and the right side of her body was paralyzed.

Toni describes the following day as “one of the hardest” when Harri woke up emotionless.

She said: “I was glad she started waking up but it was the worst day.

“I was scared when she tried to scream but no sound came out.

“She didn’t answer – I thought she was brain dead.

“She had no emotions and could not form a sentence.

“But luckily something more like her lips and eyes was moving every day, which gave us a little bit of hope.

“It took about three days for Harri to come back on.”

Harri spent three weeks in Kings College Hospital and then nurses came in daily to infuse her with antibiotics for six weeks.

She was in a wheelchair for eight weeks and had to learn to walk again and regain her strength.

Toni feared that her “smart” daughter would have trouble at school after a full semester, but she managed to catch up.

Toni said: “It took Harri months to recover and she still has balance issues.

“She was unlucky enough to get it because it’s so rare, but incredibly lucky to survive and come back with no serious permanent damage.”

Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Toni, who said she was still in shock from the ordeal, said: “Harri started out with a cold but the sinus infection traveled towards her brain and festered in her sinuses.

“That’s how she got bacterial meningitis.

“I’m familiar with meningitis, but her symptoms were so vague.

“I’m glad I trusted my instincts and slept in her bed, otherwise she probably wouldn’t be here today.”

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Toni said her daughter was “abandoned” by the A&E team, but when she got back to hospital the doctors did an “amazing job”.

A spokesman for the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said: “We are unable to comment on this case in the media for reasons of patient confidentiality, but we conducted a detailed investigation last year after Ms Tuson complained about the care of her daughter, and we sent her a full reply in October 2021 addressing all of her concerns.”

Toni, 38, was afraid of losing her daughter. She said when she woke up from the coma she appeared "brain dead"

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Toni, 38, was afraid of losing her daughter. She said when she woke up from the coma she appeared “brain dead”.Credit: Mercury
Harri caught up on school and is fine now, but Toni says she's still in shock from what happened

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Harri caught up on school and is fine now, but Toni says she’s still in shock from what happenedCredit: Mercury
Harri was in the hospital for three weeks. She is pictured washing her hair

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Harri was in the hospital for three weeks. She is pictured washing her hairCredit: Mercury

https://www.thesun.ie/health/8638289/neurotic-parent-doctors-sent-daughter-home-deadly-bug/ I was made to feel like a neurotic parent by doctors who sent my daughter home with a deadly bug

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