A desperate dad took his daughter to A&E three times before she became one of the latest victims of the Strep A virus.
Stella-Lilly McCorkindale, five, became the ninth child to die from the virus which has been running rampant across the UK in recent weeks.
Heartbroken dad Robert McCorkindale has said it took three days for staff at Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children to admit her to the Intensive Care Unit, despite news of the outbreak already spreading widely in the media.
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He says she was first taken in on November 26 with a cold and temperature, and returned the following two days when symptoms worsened.
A review is now being conducted over what happened, but Mr McCorkindale told the Mirror: “She would have had two extra days of fighting.
“They should have tested her for Strep A on the Monday (November 28). By the time they induced her Stella had given up.
"The doctor looked at me and said what was wrong and I said she is very sick. She then asked why did you bring her [Stella-Lily] here and I was like 'my daughter can't even walk' and I told them everything.
"They asked if I gave her Lucozade and I said 'no she drinks water', and they said she needed the electrolytes because she was dehydrated.”
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Mr McCorkindale claimed that they tested her with a wooden stick on her tongue and claimed that it was viral and she needed Lucozade to be hydrated.
The way he was treated, he said, left him feeling like an “overbearing father”.
He continued: “I felt bad for bringing my child there.”
Mr McCorkindale, who is not in a relationship with Stella-Lily's mother, said his daughter went to her mum's house after their first hospital trip.
The next day she felt worse and they took her in a second time, where he says a doctor helped with hydration but said she was still unwell and they went back home.
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By November 30, Stella-Lily's condition had severely deteriorated.
Mr McCorkindale said: "By 5pm on Wednesday Stella had said 'mummy, I feel like I'm dying', and so we took her back.
"I shouted at them that we were not going anywhere until we saw a doctor.
"In 15 minutes, this doctor ordered tests and found she had a chest infection and they said 'we think this is toxic shock now'.
"They weren't 100% sure it was Strep A, and they feared it was sepsis too because the blood was infected.”
Sadly for the family, their worst fears had come true as the blood culture came back for a Strep A a few hours later.
He did praise the ICU staff, who “treated her like a princess”, but her body had shut down in the early hours of Thursday morning (December 1).
She had to be kept in an induced coma to get the necessary antibiotics in her, but she died a few days later, on Monday (December 5) after being taken off life support.
A spokesman for the hospital said: “Every aspect of the care Stella-Lilly received is being carefully reviewed.
“Hospital management will be available to meet Stella-Lily's family at a time that suits them.”
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