Nine-year-old Leila Baartse-Harkin died after a playground accident, despite her parents attempts to save her.
Now Leila’s mother Edie Harkin wants the South Australian health system changed, to prevent future deaths.
Attending vacation care at Eastern Fleurieu School at Strathalbyn, south of Adelaide, Leila jumped off a swing and hurt her stomach and wrist on September 29, 2015, an inquest into her death was told on Monday.
Ms Harkin told The Daily Mail that Leila was complaining of stomach pains, vomiting and was unable to lie down as her ‘stomach was hurting.’
Her parents took her to Strathalbyn Hospital, and from there she was sent to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital for x-rays. As well as a fractured wrist, doctors diagnosed Leila with a bad case of gastro.
The inquest, before deputy state coroner Anthony Schapel, heard on Monday that Leila vomited several times, appeared pale and weak and complained of abdominal pain in the days leading to her death.
An autopsy later revealed that Leila died from peritonitis caused by a perforated small bowel that was the result of abdominal trauma.
Counsel assisting the coroner, Naomi Kereru, said Leila was discharged from Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the early hours of September 30 after receiving pain medication.
The treating doctor took X-rays and noted that Leila had a high temperature.
They sent her home, despite the high temperature and a rigid abdomen, and the court heard the doctor had recorded “mil signs of peritonitis”.
But Leila continued to vomit and have stomach pains and her parents took her back to the doctor, seeing the same one from the Strathalbyn Hospital but at a clinic, the next morning.
“Her vomit was really dark, it was almost black,” Ms Harkin said.
Sent home a second time, Leila did not improve. She got worse. Her breathing became laboured but her parents believed it was a symptom of the gastro.