THE GRIEF-stricken family of a five-year-old boy who died after mistakes were allegedly made at Rotherham Hospital face a race against time to fund their legal fight for the “truth” behind his death.
Shay Turner suffered a catastrophic brain injury and died four days after being admitted to Rotherham Hospital in March last year.
His family claim doctors misdiagnosed their son as diabetic and gave him ten times the standard dose of insulin over two hours and failed to treat him for sepsis.
Dad Martyn (29), of Rawmarsh, said he wanted answers over Shay’s death — but the family must find £12,000 to cover solicitors’ fees for a five-day inquest scheduled for October.
He said: “We don’t want it to happen to anybody else’s child — I just want justice for my son.”
Shay’s grandmother Sharon Ashton (52) has launched an online crowdfunding appeal to cover the legal costs but time is running out to meet the initial £5,000 target by 3pm on Thursday.
If the target is not met, they will not be able to access any of the money pledged and the family will be forced to cover the fees themselves or be forced to represent themselves in court.
Sharon (pictured below) said the community had supported the family over the past traumatic year and she hoped they would come forward again to back the online appeal.
“I think people who use Rotherham Hospital will hopefully support us in order to get to the truth,” she said, “because at the end of the day it could have been their child.”
Martyn and wife Laura (28) took Shay to Rotherham’s A&E department on March 30 last year after he started being sick and complaining of abdominal pain.
Doctors recorded his blood sugar levels as high and diagnosed him as diabetic, even though Martyn and Laura were convinced this was incorrect.
Shay — who had autism — was administered insulin, but the parents said they were told hours later he had been given “too much, too soon”.
Martyn added: “As soon as they told us that, they chucked us out the room and the consultant told us around three times we should say our goodbyes as he (Shay) wasn’t going to make it.”
Sharon described the scene as “complete chaos” and said the family had been “bundled” into a room away from Shay.
The little Millers fan was moved to Sheffield Children’s Hospital in the early hours of April 1 by Embrace — a specialist team which transports critically-ill children.
When he was admitted, his stomach was swollen due to abdominal compartment syndrome and medics operated on him.
His dad Martyn said: “His large intestine had gone black and gangrenous — they said he had sepsis.”
Shay (pictured below) underwent a colostomy and was put on dialysis but a scan revealed he had suffered a catastrophic brain injury and would not survive without life support.
The family said they had learned from doctors that Shay had been given ten times the normal amount of insulin at Rotherham Hospital.
Shay’s parents made the heart-breaking decision to turn off his machine and he died in their arms on April 3.
Sharon said life since his death had been a “living hell”.
Investigations meant a seven-week wait before the family could hold Shay’s funeral, at which his big brother Finnley (9) led the white horse-drawn carriage from a packed St Mary’s Church to his graveside.
The Rawmarsh Ryecroft Infant School pupil was buried in his Star Wars stormtrooper outfit surrounded by his favourite toys, Peppa Pig book, family pictures and letters.
Advertising executive Laura goes to Greasbrough Cemetery every morning and again in the evening to “tuck” her son in before bed.
Martyn said he had gone from the “highest high” after his “beautiful” wedding to Laura seven weeks before Shay’s death, to the lowest low.
Before the family realised they would have to pay for representation at the inquest, they had raised around £8,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital through several events.
Sharon added: “If we had known (about the potential legal costs) we would have waited — but I honestly thought the police were going to convict someone.
“The (hospital) trust will have barristers paid for by insurers or public money.
“We need a proper expert to represent us so it’s a level playing field — all we want is the truth.
“We all believe if Shay had been treated for sepsis within the first crucial 15 to 20 minutes he would be here today.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed a ten-month police inquiry had resulted in no action being taken or any crime being recorded.
A Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said the trust could not comment before the inquest but its “thoughts and sympathies” were with Shay’s family.
Visit www.crowdjustice.com/case/justice-for-shay/ to donate to the family’s appeal.
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