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‘Outright lies’: 8-year-old boy’s family on review of care at Abbotsford hospital before he died

Click to play video: 'Family of Jaxon Glubis outraged with Fraser Health report into son’s death'
Family of Jaxon Glubis outraged with Fraser Health report into son’s death
The parents of 8-year-old Jaxon Glubis, who died one day after being sent home from Abbotsford Hospital, are outraged at the Fraser Health report into his death. As John Hua reports, they call it "lies" and a "coverup." – Jun 6, 2022

Warning: This story contains details some readers may find disturbing

Abbotsford, B.C., mother Cinzia Rossi will never forget the “blood-curdling” screams made by her eight-year-old son in the 48 hours leading up to his death.

During that timeframe, Jaxon Glubis had vomited violently, gripped his head in unbearable pain, gone unconscious, and told a doctor he couldn’t feel the right side of his head.

“I’ve grown up with a history of headaches. This was not a headache. This was a rupture,” Rossi told Global News. “It’s like it was a hit-and-run. He was injured by negligence.”

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Jaxon died of hematoma — a brain bleed — at the BC Children’s Hospital on Dec. 28, 2021.

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It was one day after he was sent home from the Abbotsford Regional Hospital without the CT scan his mother said she pressed for, but with the doctor’s instructions to return if his symptoms got worse.

Last month, Jaxon’s parents filed a complaint to the Fraser Health Authority’s Patient Quality Care Office. The results they received on June 3 are a “gross misrepresentation” of what happened, they alleged.

“They were outright lies,” said Rossi. “It’s retraumatizing over and over and over again … There was no accountability, there’s no recourse. It makes me so angry.”

Click to play video: 'Abbotsford family wants answers in death of 8-year-old child'
Abbotsford family wants answers in death of 8-year-old child

The letter from the Patient Quality Care officer states that Fraser Health undertook a review of Jaxon’s files, including his medical chart, and the policies and procedures that applied to his care. Officials met with his care team and doctors who were not involved in his care to get a “neutral perspective,” it adds.

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The doctor who first examined Jaxon at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital on Dec. 27 completed a “thorough physical exam” for his headaches, states the review, and the findings of an additional neurological test were “normal.”

“The record shows that the doctor considered all of the life-threatening conditions that might have been affecting Jaxon at that time, including cancer, a brain infection and bleeding inside the head,” it reads.

“From the time he came into the hospital to his assessment, Jaxon’s headache went away. Based on this, the review team shared that the assessment was appropriate for Jaxon’s symptoms when he came to the hospital that day.”

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It goes onto state that the doctor gave Jaxon’s mother the option of a CT scan and engaged in a “fulsome” discussion of the risks and benefits, after which they decided — together — that a CT scan should be postponed unless Jaxon’s condition worsened.

Rossi said she’s most “livid” with this claim as she didn’t feel she had any choice.

“The only discussion there was, was him telling me, ‘One in 500 children develop cancer from the radiation in CT scans.’ This wasn’t a tumour and this wasn’t a brain bleed, in his opinion,” she recalled.

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“It took him about 15 seconds to say. It wasn’t a discussion, it was him telling me how it was.”

Click to play video: 'Grieving families left to navigate health complaints system'
Grieving families left to navigate health complaints system

Rossi kept detailed notes during Jaxon’s two-day interaction with the health-care system and has shared them with Global News. She said she wouldn’t have reached out to media if she felt she had been given an option in the CT scan discussion before her son’s death.

“It rips me apart,” she said of the findings. “This is a lie. It’s outrageous … This was not an investigation for truth and transparency, this was a coverup to save face.”

The Fraser Health Authority has repeatedly declined to comment on Jaxon’s case or why, despite having received written authorization from Jaxon’s parents, they have declined to share information about his care with Global News.

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“We continue to stay in touch with the family to answer their questions directly and ensure they have supports in place to help them during this difficult time,” it wrote in an emailed statement on Monday.

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Their review states that it’s “impossible” to determine whether Jaxon might have lived had a different set of assessments, scans or treatments been provided earlier.

Jaxon received his first CT scan on Dec. 28 after Rossi brought him back to the hospital, fading in and out of consciousness after bouts of violent vomiting. That test detected a “large pre-existing lesion” on his brain — a rare tangle of abnormal blood vessels between the arties and veins — according to the review.

Jaxon was put on life support and sent to the BC Children’s Hospital for emergency surgery, which ultimately failed to save him because it was “too late,” according to his mother.

“Arteriovenous malformations are very rare. They can spontaneously rupture or burst, which often has devastating consequences,” the review states. “It is hard to say for certain that an earlier CT scan would have or could have changed this tragic outcome.”

Click to play video: 'Jaxon Glubis death: Health authority accused of hiding behind privacy laws'
Jaxon Glubis death: Health authority accused of hiding behind privacy laws

Jaxon’s father, Daniel Glubis, said the family takes issue with claims that Fraser Health undertook an “independent” review of their son’s care. He had assumed doctors who did not know the case and were not affiliated with Fraser Health would be conducting it, he added.

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He and Rossi will keep pressing for answers until they have the “full story” of what happened during Jaxon’s “last two days on Earth.” Had a CT scan been performed on Dec. 27, he said, doctors would have had an additional 16 hours to try and save Jaxon’s life.

“I sit in bed and cry deeply thinking about each detail right up until we go to sleep at night,” he told Global News.

“The biggest thing for me is the lies — the first response from Fraser Health lying and saying (a CT scan) was an option, and that Cinzia and the doctor came to an agreement not to do a CT scan.”

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The officer acknowledged in the letter that none of the information provided will lessen the family’s grief, and invited them to contact her to discuss the findings.

The care team, she added, has offered to meet with Rossi and Glubis to discuss Jaxon’s care.

Both Rossi and Glubis said they now plan to contact the Patient Care Quality Office’s review board, which is separate from Fraser Health, to acquire a truly “independent” investigation.

GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Jaxon’s family.

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