14/08/2014 12:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Toddler Died Of Croup Hours After Hospital Sent Her Home

Toddler died hours after hospital sent her home 'to die of croup'

A mother is to sue a hospital after her toddler was sent home 'to die of croup'.

Lilly Rogerson, who would have been two last week, developed the condition - characterised by a distressing breathing problems - in April.

Her mum, Samantha Pogson, 27, took her to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, West Yorkshire, but the little girl was sent home.

Hours later, she stopped breathing at home as her mother called 999 and desperately tried to resuscitate her.

Samantha, of Rastrick, said: "Lilly was let down by the system. She was so ill she should have been kept in for observation but she was given steroids and sent home after 20 minutes.

"I'm still numb and can't believe this has happened. It has left a hole in my life."

Lilly had never suffered any respiratory problems until she caught a cold in March 2013, which went to her chest.

"She'd been unwell and had been to the GPs who said to give her plenty of fluids and paracetamol," said Samantha.

"On Good Friday, she was worse and on the Saturday morning her chest sounded shocking. She was wheezing, her eyes were rolling and she felt floppy. She needed help."

Samantha's mother and sister took Lilly to A&E as Samantha stayed with her two other children Tamzin, nine, and seven-year-old Mcauley, who were also unwell.

Her sister, Leanna Plunkett, said: "We were seen straightaway and were only there an hour and 10 minutes. She was examined and they said it looked like croup.

"The doctor gave me a syringe with steroids in it which I gave her. He said to wait 20 minutes to see how she was, then we were told we could go home and were given a leaflet about it."

Lilly was prescribed more steroids and liquid paracetamol and sent home to recover.

Samantha said: "She was shattered when she got home, she just wanted to go to sleep. She woke up for a bit, but then it was bedtime again and went to sleep as normal.

"Then, at 3.10am she woke and she was shocking. She was staring again and her breathing was awful.

"I brought her downstairs to try to make steam for her croup with the kettle, gave her some paracetamol and then changed her nappy. She wasn't crying, but was just staring.

"Then she gasped, stretched out and went stiff. Her head went back and I didn't know what was happening. I scooped her up to bring her round but she was stiff.

"I called 999 and tried to do CPR but didn't have a clue what I was doing. I knew she was gone because she'd stopped breathing."

Lilly's heart stopped for 40 minutes as paramedics battled to save her. It was eventually started again at Calderdale Royal Hospital, but by then she had suffered severe brain damage.

The toddler was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary and spent the next five days in intensive care, with her parents by her side before her machines were switched off on April 5. Samantha is now suing the hospital for medical negligence.

She said: "'I don't want any other family to go through what we have been through. Croup is bad and if she had been kept in, they would have been there when she stopped breathing and might have saved her."

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust director of nursing Helen Thomson said: "This is a very sad case and we wish to offer our sincere condolences to Lilly's family. We are in contact with them so that we can answer any questions they have at this very difficult time for them."

Croup is a childhood condition that affects the windpipe, the airways to the lungs and the voice box. It causes a distinctive barking cough, a hoarse voice and breathing difficulties. It can usually be treated at home after diagnosis by a GP. However, in severe cases a child may need hospital treatment.