Somerset

Phoebe Willis inquest: Parents claim nurse used 'too much force'

Julian and Phoebe Willis
Image caption Phoebe's father Julian gave up work to care for his daughter

A girl with a rare genetic condition died because a nurse "inserted her feeding tube with too much force", her parents have told an inquest.

Phoebe Willis, 10, from Locking in North Somerset, went to Weston General Hospital following advice to go there because it had a specialist nurse.

Phoebe, who had cystinosis, was treated by the nurse on 24 August 2012.

She became poorly that evening and died of peritonitis two days later at Bristol Children's Hospital.

'Healthy life'

Phoebe's parents, Julian and Heather Willis, told the inquest that despite her condition their daughter led a "healthy life".

She went to school and took part in scout camps.

Phoebe had been fed through a tube since her diagnosis as a baby, and it was up to her parents to change the feeding tube every three months.

Mr and Mrs Willis said when they tried to change the tube on the morning of 24 August, it would not actually go into her stomach.

After ringing the Bristol Renal Unit, they said they were advised to take Phoebe to Weston General as it had a specialist nurse, Carrie-Ann Nash, who could insert the tube.

Mr and Mrs Willis told the inquest they believed Ms Nash had inserted the tube incorrectly, which they claimed ripped the lining of their daughter's stomach.

Heather Willis described her last evening with her daughter. She said Phoebe had put on her new pyjamas and watched a DVD.

She told the inquest that her daughter seemed "completely well".

But when she went to her in the morning, she said her daughter was grey and her lips were blue.

Image caption Heather Willis said Phoebe had a full life despite her condition

She told the inquest the last words she heard Phoebe say were, "I don't feel at all well mummy".

Mrs Willis told the inquest: "I'm angry that you can have someone who is supposed to be a specialist.

"I am angry because she's gone - she's not here anymore. It's really difficult, you can't explain it. To lose a child is the most horrific thing."

Cystinosis is a rare genetic condition that causes damage to the kidneys, eyes and other major organs. It affects about 150 people in the UK.

It occurs when an amino acid called cystine is not carried out of the body and then accumulates in cells.

The inquest at Avon Coroner's Court continues.

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