A West Kelowna, B.C., family has been left with questions, after the heartbreaking death of their nine-year-old daughter, due to what the family says was likely a misdiagnosis.
On Saturday, Nov. 26, the family took their daughter to the Kelowna General Hospital after she began showing symptoms of dehydration, nausea and fever.
“She had a rash, swollen eyes and her parents were told that it was influenza, not to worry,” said Ayla’s grandfather, Jim Loseth.
Jim says the nine-year-old’s mother, Chrissy, insisted that it was more, demanding that strep and urine tests be done. The doctor took the tests but sent the family home as they awaited the results.
It wasn’t long until Ayla’s symptoms took a turn for the worse.
“Saturday night to Monday morning is when things changed. The rash got worse, she got muscle aches, sore joints, fever, and more swelling. My son ended up carrying her to the car and shot to emergency,” said Loseth.
Jim says Ayla and her father Brady waited in the waiting room for close to two hours when her father told hospital staff that it was more serious than the flu and demanded she be looked at immediately.
Ayla was then taken in, given pain medications and hooked up to an IV. The first doctor to check on the family reassured them it was the flu.
However, that quickly changed when a second doctor saw their daughter.
“She realized Ayla was septic and rushed her into ICU. They got under guidance from children’s hospital in Vancouver. A team from the children’s hospital flew in immediately to prep Ayla for transport,” said Loseth.
“The second pediatrician, she looked at Ayla, her rash, her face, the monitor, looked at her blood pressure. Her eyes almost bugged out of her head and within three minutes (Ayla was) in trauma. Nothing seemed urgent enough until it was too late.”
Ayla passed away a few hours later, in the early hours of Nov. 29.
The family has raised questions about why Ayla was not put on antibiotics earlier and why one care provider understood the urgency when others did not. They questioned the training given to emergency staff.
Global News reached out to Interior Health for comment on the incident and was provided with a statement.
“Generally, if an unexpected event or death occurs with a patient in hospital, this event is treated with the utmost seriousness,” said Dr. Shallen Letwin, vice president of clinical operations for IH South.
“Interior Health will fully review the case to identify any possible opportunities for learning or system-level improvements as part of our ongoing commitment to quality and patient safety in our hospitals.”
The Loseth family hopes the incident can result in procedural changes at hospitals in British Columbia.
“The citizens of B.C. are not getting proper medical care. Vancouver’s a long way away, Kelowna’s getting to be a big city and the surrounding areas. I think it’s about time we had a facility for our children,” Loseth said.
“Our little Ayla’s gone. If by her passing something can change to help, it doesn’t happen to anybody else, that would mean a lot to our little baby.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for the Loseth family to help them during this difficult time. It has raised over $80,000.