Toddler nearly died after doctors dismissed his life threatening symptoms.

Doctor’s dismissed the young boys meningitis as tonsillitis. He only survived because his mother trusted her gut and insisted he should be treated.

Bobby Beardshall’s mother,  Jane Brown, 42, took her son to a hospital after he developed a fever, high-pitched cry and insomnia.

Even after Ms Brown suggested it may be meningitis, doctors were prepared to send the youngster home with antibiotics, but she insisted her son be monitored in hospital, reports Daily Mail.

Hours later, Bobby, now three, was fighting for his life in intensive care, with doctors telling Ms Brown her son was on the verge of developing sepsis and would have had to have limbs amputated if he had not been treated.

Although Bobby, from Hull, has recovered from the incident, which took place in June 2016, it caused him to go deaf and required he relearn how to talk and sit up.

After being told to go home by doctors, Ms Brown insisted her son be treated, saying: ‘I said to them that I wanted to go upstairs and for him to be monitored.

‘Two hours later he was fighting for his life in intensive care. The consultant said he had some kind of infection and if you looked at him he looked almost brain damaged.

‘His eyes were rolling and that was when the whole scenario changed because they realised the infection had gone to the brain.

‘I just couldn’t believe it – they told me it was tonsillitis and they were going to send me home.

Ms Brown, who did not formally complain to the Hospitals NHS Trust, added: ‘It’s scary how many other mums or dads might have just taken the antibiotics and gone because they thought ‘who am I to challenge the doctor?’

Ms Brown is speaking out to inspire other parents to trust their instincts and not be afraid to challenge the advice of doctors.

She said: ‘I really think it is down to a mother’s intuition. Always go with your gut instinct. Stand your ground and don’t be pushed aside.’

Parents are reminded they can always invoke Ryan’s Rule if they are unhappy with medical care.

Ryan’s Rule ( which is QLD based, but other states have similar practices like REACH in NSW) has been developed to provide patients of any age, families and carers with another way to get help if they have concerns about medical care. Find out more HERE.

Other states across Australia have enforced similar rules. Check with your local health provider if you are seeking further information in your state. Or ask to speak to the patient liaison officer at your hospital.

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  • Many years ago I also stuck to my instincts with a sick child and they finally found the baby had measles and only one small spot was found inside the child’s throat – his measles were internal not showing up externally – with treatment he was OK


  • I’m glad this Mum stuck to her gut instincts. That is what ultimately saved her son’s life.


  • There is probably more incidents like this that we never hear about.
    I know a boy who had severe stomach pains. It as after hours and he has another medical problem (serious) so she took him to hospital. The Dr. tried to tell her that he had eaten a green apple – meaning it wasn’t ripe. Fortunately he didn’t need surgery to remedy the problem, but he definitely needed medication.


  • Such a sad story of something that was preventable. So proud of this Mum for going with her got – you know what, we always seem to know best and know our child the best. I wish her and her family much love and hope they get the support they need.


  • yep, as a Mum it’s important to trust our gut instinct.


  • That’s so scary. In this day and age doctors really should be more careful instead of worrying about how many patients they can see in a short time to get more money. Good on the mother!


  • Good on her for following her gut instinct otherwise this could have ended tragically. Well done to her!


  • Great mummy instinct !!


  • Really terrible. Luckily that this mother was so sure of herself and assertive enough. It could have ended so badly indeed.


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