The Bookie Who Saved A Baby: Bookmaker Spots Rare Condition In Baby As Dad Makes Grand National Bet

20/04/2012 16:27 | Updated 22 May 2015
The bookie who saved a baby: Bookmaker spots rare condition in baby as dad puts bet on the Grand NationalCascade

How's this for a winning betting slip?

A bookie saved baby Amelia's life when she recognised symptoms of a rare condition that doctors missed twice.

Dad Mark Parsisson nipped into his local William Hill just before the Grand National to place a bet. He had Amelia, now nine weeks old with him, who had twice been taken to hospital with vomiting and incessant crying.

Doctors at Royal Bolton Hospital, Greater Manchester told her parents, Mark and Jane it was down to gastric reflux which can be eased at home during feeding times.

But bookie, Vicky Leonard, who was sorting Mark's bet, recognised the symptoms of pyloric stenosis when the pair got chatting, and wrote a diagnosis down on his betting slip.

Mark quickly researched the condition online and raced Amelia to Manchester's Children Hospital, who correctly diagnosed the little girl with pyloric stenosis – a rare narrowing of the opening from the stomach into the small intestine that could have left her fatally dehydrated.

Amelia quickly underwent a 40 minute operation on Monday morning which fixed the problem.

"It's like bringing a different baby home, she's so much more settled," says Mark, a sales manager, who lives with his wife Jane, 32, and son Jake, eight, in Bolton. "We're just glad she's back and well. She's only been home a couple of days but she's much happier."

The family have now started legal action against the Royal Bolton Hospital, as doctors diagnosed gastric reflux when Amelia was aged two weeks and seven weeks.

"She was in pain constantly, crying all the time. We have been stuffing her with medication that she has not needed for nine weeks," says Mark.

"I just feel that we were pacified for being over-protective parents when our baby was on the verge of death. I want to make other parents aware of this. I am just so relieved. We went through a journey from hell."

Bookmaker Vicky, 35, recognised Amelia's symptoms as her now 11-year-old daughter had also suffered.

"It was bizarre, he was explaining what was going on with his baby and it was like he was saying what had happened to me. I had the exact same problems with my daughter when she was two weeks old, it was just hell."

Pyloric stenosis affects about one in every 350 babies. It prevents babies digesting milk and causes them to vomit, which can lead to severe dehydration. Royal Bolton Hospital has defended its wrong diagnosis, saying babies with pyloric stenosis usually lose weight as well as the other symptoms.

Head of communications Heather Edwards said: "If a baby is only displaying vomiting without being dehydrated and losing weight this is more likely to be a different diagnosis such as gastric reflux.

"We're very sorry if Mr Parsisson feels that staff did not explain this to him fully and also that he did not feel they were taking his concerns seriously. Meanwhile we're pleased to hear that little Amelia is well and hope she continues to make good progress."

Amelia is now recovering at home with her family, and dad Mark is celebrating as he put a fiver each way on Sunnyhill Boy, who came in second!

Source: Cascade

Suggest a correction