Heartbroken mum of a toddler urges parents to take their children to the doctor for ‘any cough or sniffle’ after her son died just days after falling ill.

Kate and Ross Upton from Brisbane were told by doctors that their son Arlo Jack simply had a virus but he sadly died 48 hours later, shares Daily Mail.

The toddler first showed signs of illness when he started coughing on October 27, just before the family headed out to Halloween festivities.

By the following afternoon Arlo had developed a temperature and began vomiting.

The couple made an appointment with their GP, but were told it was a virus and were sent away with painkillers.

While his temperature went down, little Arlo developed a worrying rash.

He was also refusing to eat and his temperature hit 39C, but wouldn’t go down despite him taking Panadol and Nurofen.

Mr Upton stayed home with him on Monday, October 29, when the parents decided to take him to another doctor, who also told them the virus would pass.

The worried mum and dad also took him to a community centre but were given the same diagnosis and advice.

Arlo turned blue around his mouth and his family called an ambulance.

His condition deteriorated rapidly in the ambulance and he was placed on a life support machine after going into cardiac arrest.

The ambulance had to stop to pick up more paramedics nearby, with eight medics treating him at one stage.

‘It went from okay to bad really quick,’ mother Mrs Upton, 34, told 9 News.

Medics initially thought that Arlo could be suffering from sepsis, however when they brought him into hospital they re-diagnosed him as having a gene mutation called LPIN1 deficiency, resulting in acute skeletal muscle damage.

At one point the parents were told that Arlo might have to have his fingers or toes amputated to save him, but it was too late.

Arlo suffered a seizure at 5.30am on Thursday, November 1 and was pronounced dead later that day.

‘It was the only option. His brain had swollen. He was almost unrecognisable.’

‘We spent a few hours singing to him, cuddling him and talking to him before they took the ventilator off,’ Mrs Upton said.

At one point, Arlo’s three-year-old sister, Frankie, asked the heartbreaking question: ‘Mummy, is Arlo going to die?’

Mrs Upton, who also has a three-year-old daughter, Frankie, is now advising all parents to go with their gut instinct regarding their child falling ill and recommends taking children to see a doctor for ‘any cough or sniffle’.

If an autopsy reveals that Arlo did have a gene mutation, his parents and sister will all have to undergo testing to see if they also carry the condition.

Our thoughts are with the family xx

Share your comments below

  • If only the GPs had been more vigilant. So very sad. RIP little man.


  • Poor thing! I can’t imagine what they are going through. I would be so angry at all those doctors who just kept sending them home. Doctors are just too slack these days they whisk people in and out as quickly as possible.


  • This is just heartbreaking. They thought something was wrong but all the qualified people didn’t believe them. RIP Arlo.


  • No, this is so sad. And this family did everything right. Their gut instinct told them things weren’t okay and to be told by not 1, not 2, but 3 different medical professionals that this was a virus, is just simplistic and not okay. This is just tragic and heartbreaking. This family need answers.


  • Oh my goodness, that’s just so sad, I need to keep this mind


  • I’m sure the Doctors were shocked to find that there was a gene mutation involved which would only have been known after blood tests. Would he been saved if that was known? One would hope so. If we took our children to the Dr. every time one of them had a cough or sniffle we would just about live there. One constantly has a runny nose and has been to the Dr. numerous times. It has been diagnosed as a combination of allergies. He has been treated in hospital a few times. once for bronchiallitis .


  • That’s what drs honestly do now a days they just quickly have a look at there computer screen and go by that paid or not paid drs! So sad to hear that she never gave up a mother’s instinct


  • So heartbreaking. If he didn’t have the gene mutation he would probably have been ok. We do have to go with our gut feelings I think.


  • Terrible for her and I can understand that response but it’s just not practical.


  • Poor people. And that so many doctor misdiagnosed the child. The parents followed their gut instinct but, in this instance, it wasn’t enough. :-(


  • The good GP’s are hard to get into these days and you have a tonne of doctors that send you away without proper examination


  • These parents did take their child to a dr, more then one, and got the same answer. I honestly think too many gps are too quick to dismiss child illnesses as nothing serious, and this is what happens


  • The poor family I hope they get some answers.


  • So heartbreaking. What a sad loss for this family. I really feel that doctors need to take parents seriously when they present with an unwell child. Parents know their kids, they know when something is off. With such delicate and precious lives on the line surely it’s better to be safe than sorry.


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