A one-year old was discharged from hospital after medical staff missed that she had broken her neck after a car crash.

The parents of Lorelei Bellchambers are fuming after Wyong Hospital on the NSW Central Coast missed crucial signs indicating that the toddler had a broken neck after she was a passenger in a vehicle head-on collision.

Five hours after the child and her mum were admitted to the hospital, following the accident, the pair were discharged.

The Bellchambers, however, called for a more extensive examination after Lorelei was clearly still in pain.

Mum, Elise, told 7NEWS that a scan needed to be done.

Diagnosis Came Late

The following afternoon, Lorelei was taken back to the same hospital by ambulance and then transferred to Gosford hospital the next day.

Two days after the accident occurred, the little girl was finally examined by a surgeon and a neck brace was applied.

That night, she was put in an induced coma, so that she wouldn’t move, and flown to Westmead Hospital in Sydney.

There, the medical team discovered that Lorelei’s C1 and C2 vertebrae, at the top of her spine, had been fractured.

Lorelei Bellchambers was put in an induced coma after breaking her neck in a car accident
Photo Credit: 7NEWS

“We are past angry, we are furious,” Elise said.

If doctors do need to do surgery on the young girl, it may affect her ability to walk in the future.

The NSW Health Department has apologised to the family and has assured them that they will conduct a full investigation.

Adding a comment to a facebook post on the 7NEWS page, Elise added:

“This is my daughter lorelei, this has been so frustrating and we have done nothing but try to be respectful of the staff when we were there. I asked for a scan of her and they refused. We are just hoping and praying that she makes it through with no effects on her, later in life.”

We hope so too. xxx

Main photo credit: 7NEWS

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  • We are hearing a lot of reports on the news about Caboolture hospital at the moment. So many babies being sent home when they really needed care


  • Sadly, so many hospitals are becoming like this. They just don’t do everything they should do.


  • You shouldn’t have to push for it. You’d think they’d want to scan to be sure there was so injury. I hope the little girl recovers OK.


  • It’s so scary for them to be able to miss something like that, but unfortunately it’s quite common after car crashes for them to not do scans. My broken back was nearly missed and it was only one doctors off handed thought to do an xray where they picked up a break as referred pain was masking my break. It should be common practise to always do an xray after car crashes.


  • That is bad for them to miss, but nothing surprises me as I was in a car accident and received a broken nose and I had that operated on and it wasn’t till years later I had a abscess on a front tooth and the dentist asked had I ever been in a car accident and I said I hit my face on the dashboard and broke my nose and she said you never should of had to go through that as they never examined you mouth with haven brokered your nose.


  • I’d be mad too you think they would have done a scan when asked just to be safe


  • That is so bad. I’m hoping everything turned out okay.
    I honestly feel like people are just a number at hospitals! They get so many people in that they just want to get through all of them quickly to get them out. Really such a shame.


  • Omg this is so sad :(


  • Oh my goodness this is terrible.
    Crossing my fingers your little girl makes a full recovery


  • I can not even imagine how they must be feeling with such a big thing missed


  • I feel for the little girl and her family but I also feel for the staff, they get put under cost pressures and so become reluctant to order scans or any costly procedures and unfortunately that means things like this happen and will continue to happen.


  • Poor little girl. When they are this little they can’t tell you what’s wrong so Dr’s and nurses should always Be thorough


  • How could they not take this seriously. I hope the young one heals and is able to live a healthy life.


  • OMG, how did this happen, my heart goes out to this family. Hope she recovers quickly. Terrible.


  • Wish the liitle kid get well soon.


  • Absolutely heartbreaking!


  • Yes, a case of justifiable anger.


  • How could they not do a full scan just to be sure. I hope Lorelei makes a full recovery with no lasting side affects later in life.


  • That is just so upsetting and heartbreaking, hope she is ok now.


  • Oh my god!!! I would go with my gut!!


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