NSW Health has launched an investigation into the treatment of 21-month-old Hamlyn Terrace girl, Lorelei Bellchambers, after she was sent home from Wyong Hospital with a broken neck.
Lorelei’s mother, Elise Bellchambers, presented herself and her daughter at Wyong Hospital on October 14, after the pair were involved in a car accident, but were discharged a short time later after only Mrs Bellchambers was assessed for injury.
A day later, the family was back at the hospital, and after a transfer to Gosford Hospital and a 12 hour wait, Lorelei was placed in an induced coma and the family was flown to Westmead Children’s Hospital, where doctors determined she had fractured her C1 and C2 vertebrae.
Lorelei is now in a body brace and is likely to need corrective surgery on her spine.
If her current treatment plan fails and surgery is required, it is possible that she will face a lifetime of mobility issues.
Speaking to media, parents, Elise and Ben Bellchambers, said that they were devastated that their daughter now faces the prospect of permanent spinal damage after Wyong Hospital staff failed to conduct an x-ray on Lorelei, despite the child being in extreme pain and her parents requesting a full examination be conducted.
“We are beyond angry, we are furious,” Elise Bellchambers told media.
A spokesperson for the Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) confirmed that an investigation was underway into Lorelei’s care.
“CCLHD takes complaints about patient care extremely seriously and has contacted the family to discuss the treatment and quality of care given to the child.
“We are currently reviewing the care provided and will continue to liaise with the Children’s Hospital at Westmead to follow up on the patient’s progress,” the spokesperson said.
NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, also confirmed that a review was underway and said that any changes that needed to be made would be.
Video, Oct 21
Ben and Elise Bellchambers, Hamlyn Terrace
Media statement, Oct 22
Central Coast Health
Dilon Luke, Journalist