Fearne Adger died at eight months old at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) after her parents were referred to take her there over concerns she was not eating or drinking properly as well as having issues passing fluids. The child’s mother, Lauren Adger, attributed Fearne’s death to “failings in her care at the RAH”.
Mrs Adger, 37, described how her daughter became “lethargic” and began breathing rapidly while on a ward a day after being admitted to hospital.
Though medics performed CPR and administered shocks in a bid to restart her heart, they could not save her.
Mrs Adger told an FAI at Paisley Sheriff Court the death of Fearne, on April 29, 2017, could have been avoided if medical personnel had given her IV fluid for dehydration.
She said in a statement at the virtual hearing: “After Fearne died it was clear to me that there were failings in her care at the RAH.
“I had told staff repeatedly about her nappies being dry and her being lethargic and had asked about the possibility of IV fluids.
“But I was told she was not showing signs of clinical dehydration and that it was just a virus.”
Singling out one of the hospital’s doctors, the bereaved mother continued: “Those words, ‘just a virus’, will stay with me forever and the way Dr Woo said them will stay with me forever.
“I was a first-time mum and I put my trust in the medical staff.
“I didn’t know what was normal for a baby with a stomach virus, but looking back, it is sickening that my baby was forced to suffer with no one trying to help.”
Mrs Adger, recalling how she had been singing to her daughter when she suddenly began breathing “quickly” and went limp, said nurses rushed her away for treatment leaving her in a “state of panic”.
She added: “I struggle every day with what happened to Fearne and I feel that the fact it was not just one mistake but a catalogue feels unbearable.
“My precious girl was everything to me and we went to the RAH for help but were made to feel like a nuisance.
“When she was admitted we finally felt she was getting the care she needed, but months later we discovered the doctor responsible for her care for a full shift didn’t check in on Fearne once and her drip was removed without examination or consideration to how much fluids she had outputted.
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“This mistake is very difficult to live with and Dr Woo’s failure to enter the room to me is unforgivable.”
Mrs Adger, who now has two other children, concluded her statement by saying: “It is impossible to put into words how special and amazing Fearne was or how loved she is.
“The loss of her was horrendous and it feels like she was robbed of her life, a life which I hoped would have been happy and fulfilling.”
The father of the girl, David Adger, told the inquiry: “Fearne’s death has had a huge impact on my life, it has changed me as a person.
The 57-year-old marine electrician added: “I’m glad the FAI is happening. All we want is the truth for Fearne.”
The family raised £3,800 for Scottish Cot Death Trust by climbing Ben Nevis in 2019 in tribute to Fearne.
Sheriff Principal Donald Murray offered his “sincere condolences” to the family before the start of the hearing.
The inquiry, which was ordered by the Lord Advocate, continues.