When 17-year-old Demi Ellul developed severe stomach pains on Monday afternoon, her mother Julie became concerned.
She took her daughter to a GP and was told she may be suffering from appendicitis and would have to go to hospital immediately. The doctor gave the family a note to take with them to Campbelltown Hospital. If Demi was in fact suffering from appendicitis, there wasn't a moment to spare.
When they arrived at the emergency department of their local hospital, they were quickly seen by a triage nurse. Demi's boyfriend joined them as they waited for a hospital bed to become available.
They tried to be patient. The emergency waiting area was filled with many serious cases including an older man suffering from chest pains.
They asked emergency staff for a blanket. They asked again, and again and again.
Three hours later a staff member threw a blanket to them. By now Demi was doubled over in excruciating pain and despite the fact there were a few spare chairs available was more comfortable lying on the floor in a fetal position. She fell in and out of a fitful sleep while her mother and boyfriend begged staff for help. Her mother took a photo of her daughter on the hospital floor. She couldn't believe this was happening. If emergency workers won't help you when your child is seriously ill, who will?
After nine hours Mrs Ellul made the heart-wrenching decision to take her daughter home. She wanted to lay her child down in her own bed where she could at least be warm and comfortable.
They returned to the hospital the following day.
Mrs Ellul showed staff the photo of her daughter lying on their floor the night before and Demi was admitted after 10 minutes. She was given morphine but it was too late. Demi's appendicitis had progressed and she could no longer be operated on. The inflammation was just too severe.
Demi is now being pumped full of strong antibiotics in the hope the inflammation will reduce enough for her appendix to be removed and her agony to be over. Doctors warn this could take a further two weeks.