When we are not feeling well, we often will seek the advice of somebody who understands more about our health than we do. It could be a doctor or perhaps a nurse in a hospital setting when things are really serious. In the end, we want to trust those who are responsible for our healthcare but sometimes, we also need to be our own advocate. This was something that was experienced by the Dunn family and unfortunately, things did not turn out well for them.
It began when Jack Dunn, a 17-year-old boy was suffering from severe stomach pains to the point where he wasn’t able to walk properly. His parents rushed him to the hospital and doctors performed some tests. They ended up diagnosing this boy, who is from Porth, Wales, with a case of bad constipation. He was provided with laxative medicine to help with the constipation but the medical issue was much more severe. Just 24 hours after being released from the hospital, his father, Kieron found his son dead in his bed.
The parents said that the doctors weren’t especially concerned about the intense stomach pain he was experiencing. They did a scan to rule out appendicitis.
“We took him to A&E and completely trusted the doctors in telling us what was wrong with him. He could barely walk he was in so much pain. He was given a bladder scan but it didn’t really show anything up. The doctor said he was baffled and believed Jack was suffering from nothing more than a bad bout of constipation,” Jack’s father said to The Sun.
The doctors did not identify the true underlying medical condition that was causing the problem. The real diagnosis was diabetic ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a very dangerous situation that occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin. The body also produces a large number of ketones or blood acid.
“When Jack was finding it difficult to breathe the doctor thought it was probably anxiety because Jack was anxious about being in the hospital,” dad Kieron told. “But him struggling to breathe was because his organs were closing down because of the ketoacidosis.”
“Finding my son dead in his bed was the worst moment of my life. I believe Jack would be alive today if a few more simple tests had been carried out.”
The family is convinced that the death could have been prevented if doctors had given him a glucose test.
“Jack’s white blood cell count was up so that was an indicator something was going on in his body that wasn’t right. If they had tested him for ketones he would probably be alive today.”
Ketoacidosis is easily treated with medication and insulin if it is caught in time. The other symptoms of this problem include fatigue, unusual thirst, fast breathing, state of confusion and the need to urinate frequently.
Jack’s parents are hoping that sharing this story can also raise the awareness of ketoacidosis and prevent similar problems from happening to others.
“My son was a healthy fit 17-year-old who was full of energy and life. I have to speak out both for Jack and our family which has been utterly devastated by his loss,” Kieron said. “People need to know what a deadly condition ketoacidosis is.”