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Grieving parents are still searching for answers to how their ‘always healthy’ toddler died after ambulance officers and doctors dismissed his illness as ‘just a fever’.

Shadrach Sumaru and Kathryn Ram have spoken to Daily Mail Australia about what they say are flaws in the Australian healthcare system.

The Melbourne couple said their two-year-old son Isaiah Sumaru, who died four weeks ago, would still be alive today if their concerns were taken seriously.

The desperate parents knew something was not right with their little boy but Ambulance Victoria said he just needed Nurofen.

On September 24, Isaiah, who was described by his parents as ‘always healthy and full of life’, became sick and developed abnormal breathing.

Shadrach, 38, and Kathryn, 29, frantically called for an ambulance and despite being told by paramedics that it was ‘just a fever’ and that there was ‘no need’ for the toddler to be taken to hospital, Isaiah tragically died two days later.

Shadrach, 38, and Kathryn, 29, frantically called for an ambulance and despite being told by paramedics that it was ‘just a fever’ and that there was ‘no need’ for the toddler to be taken to hospital, Isaiah tragically died two days later.

‘The second time, two other paramedics came over to check Isaiah and made us feel like idiots for calling.

‘They said, ‘it’s just a fever. Give him Panadol and Neurofen’. It felt like an inconvenience for them to come down and check on him. We did everything we were told.’

Despite Kathryn and Shadrach’s insistence that Isaiah be rushed to the emergency room, they claim the paramedics refused.

‘They were really abrupt and rude. Had they taken their job seriously, my son could still be alive today’, she said tearfully.

As Isaiah’s condition began to deteriorate they took him to their local doctor, who immediately called for an ambulance and Isaiah was finally transported to Dandenong hospital in Melbourne’s south east.

‘No one came up to check on him. He was only a toddler and still learning to speak so he couldn’t express what was wrong but you could hear he couldn’t breathe properly,’ Kathryn said.

She claims staff at Dandenong hospital ignored a referral letter from her GP that was supposed to go directly to a triage nurse.

‘The referral letter was to get a blood test and an x-ray immediately… the letter was not looked at [and] we got pushed into the waiting room.’

By the time that they finally saw a doctor, it was too late.

‘His last word was ‘juice’ and I gave him juice and all of a sudden his eyes started rolling back,’ Kathryn said between sobs.

‘Everything happened so fast. All I remember was [hearing] ‘code blue’ and there was 20 people on my son trying to resuscitate him.’

Isaiah was pronounced dead on the evening of September 26.

The coroner is yet to determine the cause of death.

Our hearts go out to the family. We hope they get the answers they need very soon.

Share your comments below

  • I wouldn’t have waited 2 days to call the ambulance again. When they didn’t cooperate I would have taken the little boy to hospital by private vehicle or taxi.

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  • Oh the poor parents, sadly time and time again a lot of main stream health services do not fully listen to what a parent is saying about their child.

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  • This is very sad poor boy and it’s disappointing how parents were treated by paramedics they should be held responsible

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  • A lot of adults these days are not taking children serious e.g hospitals I know everyone is busy but I thought children were important the fact that they are still fragile there bodies are still developing would be first priority besides the other emergency just hope the parents get answers

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  • We have had issues with a hospital in the same area ignoring gp referral. It’s not good enough. But if the child was so sick, why didn’t they take him to their gp in the first place? Even if they did this after being dismissed by the paramedics the first time. And isn’t there a rule of kind in Australian hospitals now? It’s the name of a kid a followed by rule. Eg ‘I call Stevens Rule’ and the medical professionals are supposed to jump into action. MoMs it would be good if you could republish that info for future reference

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  • Poor family. Isaiah deserved better. His parents have a hard road ahead to travel without their little man.

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  • Aw bless, how sad is this. I hope the parents get answers soon. My heart & prayers go our to them.

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  • So sad to read things like this. Hope they find the cause

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  • Oh this is so sad. That poor family. RIP little one and sending strength and love to the family

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  • Do hope These parents get some answers soon – terrible thing to have happened.

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  • Unfortunately paramedics aren’t Drs so not trained on diagnosing a lot of medical issues, more so just treating and making sure the patient is stable. The paramedics get calls for stupid non emergencies all the time, which would be very frustrating and time consuming. They may have seen this as a non emergency and, hopefully suggested that they take him to see A Dr first. A very sad situation for the parents, my heart does go out to them

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  • There needs to be an enquiry of some type into this. Thoughts and prayers to the family and a timely reminder to us all not to be afraid to be pushy re our child’s needs

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  • How terribly sad! Normally anything to do with a child is taken quite seriously. Was it a miscommunication between the paramedics and the parents? Or did they blantantly dismiss it? If so they need to be sacked from their jobs!

    Reply

  • Oh, this is so terrible. He had such a short life. This surely needs to be investigated. It shouldn’t have happened. :-(

    Reply

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