By Candice Prosser.
Coroner Mark Johns has begun an inquest into the death of Briony Caitlin Klingberg, who died in January 2015 after being severely unwell for nearly a week.
The court heard her parents were very concerned about her and took her to the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital emergency department, but a senior doctor sent her home and told her parents to return if her condition worsened.
The inquest was told her parents then took her to the Mount Barker Hospital where another doctor sent her home, and later saw their family GP before again taking her back to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital where she died.
The girl’s mother, Bridget Klingberg, told the court her daughter had open sores on her throat causing her constant pain and was unable to eat, drink or sleep.
The court heard the family lived on a farm at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills and had to travel an hour to an hour and a half to get to a hospital in Adelaide.
Mrs Klingberg said her daughter was a healthy, strong child who was very active and determined, and she knew something was not right when she first became unwell.
“She didn’t eat her tea, Briony loved her food so we knew she wasn’t well,” she said.
She tearfully told the court her daughter continued to refuse food and water and was not getting any pain relief from medication.
“Everything hurt to swallow. I couldn’t stop the pain, she couldn’t rest,” she said.
Briony ‘wasn’t getting better’
However Ms Klingberg said despite her symptoms, she did not want to return to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
“I had the sense not to bring her back unless she got worse, for us she wasn’t necessarily getting worse, she just wasn’t getting better,” she said.
“We couldn’t stop the pain, we couldn’t stop the fever.