Sep 6 2012 By Jackie Grant
Dumfries Royal Infirmary
THE DEVASTATED parents of a two-year-old boy who died of a brain tumour claim the health service in Dumfries and Galloway has failed them.
Khuram Naqvi and his wife Kiran say their lives have been destroyed after their little boy Wasim died at Dumfries Infirmary on August 25.
The toddler was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour the size of a tennis ball at eight months old in December 2010.
But the Naqvis claim doctors should have realised sooner that their child was ill with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma - which accounts for three percent of tumours in pediatric patients.
And they want to know why health professionals failed to pick up on signs that there was something seriously wrong with their baby.
Mr Naqvi, 31 of Barnhill said: When Wasim was born we noticed he had a bigger head than most babies but nobody told us it was unusual. Looking back at his baby chart now, it shows his head was the size of a 13-month-old childs when he was only seven months.
Right from the start, he wouldnt settle and was constantly sick. We had to keep changing his milk because the health visitor said he had colic or gastric reflux but nothing we tried worked.
We were even told to put Gaviscon in his milk.
The couple, who also have a five-year-old daughter, made numerous visits to their GP with their baby and he was even kept in Dumfries Infirmary for observation but Mr Navqi said they were always told it was just a bug.
But in December 2010 when Wasim was in hospital again, a desperate Mrs Navqi , 28, asked a junior doctor to have another look at her baby.
She said: Wasim was unresponsive and just slept day and night. I told one of the junior doctors that as his mother, I could feel something wasnt right. He urged a senior consultant to run tests and thats when they finally carried out a CT scan.
The family were left numb when they were told later that night that Wasim had a brain tumour. He was rushed by ambulance to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where a drain was put in to relieve the pressure on his brain.
Four days later Wasim endured a 12-hour operation to remove as much of the brain tumour as possible. His frantic parents were told there was a chance their son would die on the operating table or be left paralysed.
He pulled through and we were told theyd removed the tumour said Mr Navqi.
We started to feel hope that hed recover. Even though it was a rare cancer, we were never told he couldnt be cured.
Wasim then had to undergo six months of chemotherapy at Yorkhill Childrens Hospital during which he lost his hair.
After the chemo ended, Wasim had a scan every three months. After the third scan, Mrs Navqi went for the results and was told the cancer was back and there was nothing more the doctors could do for her boy.
Mr Navqi said: I didnt believe my wife when she told me so I went to Yorkhill the next day and I was told the same. It was incurable and there would be no further treatment. The cancer had spread everywhere.
Wasim was brought home to Dumfries but then fell ill with chicken pox. He was taken back to Dumfries Infirmary but the family claim it was another week before a scan was carried out.
Mr Navqis aunt, Tabussum Abbas said: He really started to deteriorate after that and on June 18, we were told he had three weeks at most to live.
He had secretions and was being sick up to 10 times a day. We had to bring a suction machine home with us so that he didnt choke.
The family decided to visit relatives in Birmingham and while there, Wasim took a turn for the worse.
Mrs Abbas added: He stopped breathing for three minutes and nearly died.
We called an ambulance and doctors at the hospital said wed be lucky if Wasim lived for another half an hour.
But he pulled through and proved everyone wrong again.
Two weeks later, Wasim, who had by now lost his sight and speech, was taken back to Dumfries from Birmingham by ambulance.
And the family were left furious when doctors decided to stop giving him fluids.
Mrs Navqi said: I had to beg and plead with the doctors to give him fluids and they finally put an IV drip in after four days.
I was told we were prolonging his death by giving him fluids and they were doing it for my sake, not Wasims. But I just wanted my little boy with us for as long as possible.
I know he cant come back but I cant forget the suffering he went through with no fluids for four days.
Wasim lived for another week after being given IV but finally lost his fight for life at 6.30am on August 25.
His devastated dad said: If he had been diagnosed earlier, he might still be alive today.
The health professionals failed to pick up the signs and it took them too long to diagnose our son.
When he was sent home from hospital with secretions, we went on a trip and he nearly died in Birmingham.
And when they stopped his fluids for four days, our son lingered in agony.
I phoned the medical director at Dumfries Infirmary and told him they might as well just take off his oxygen mask and leave him to die in the corridor.
We feel let down by the entire health service from the health visitor to the GP to the doctors at Dumfries Infirmary.
This has totally destroyed us. I cant sleep, I suffer from depression and anxiety and I still see my little boys face every minute of the day.
The family have contacted Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown and are lodging a formal complaint with a solicitor.
I want to see the doctors punished and want the hospital to take a look at themselves and see the mistakes that were made. These people are on s100,000 salaries. They should know what they are doing.
We dont want any other family to suffer the way we have, and our little boy did. These people failed us; they have ruined our lives.