Mum praises hospital saviours

By FRAZER PEARCE

PAM Hutton owes her son's life to the skill of Rockhampton Hospital's emergency staff.

Yesterday the outraged mum leapt to their defence.

The mother of three-year-old Jordan, who almost died in 2003 when he stopped breathing during a severe croup attack, expressed shock at allegations by former emergency ward doctor William Kelley that the emergency department was "a dangerous place'' and should be shut down.

"They saved Jordy's life. He is very precious (an only child),'' she said at her North Rockhampton home.

"They (the medical staff) are fantastic people and have always been really wonderful and caring to us and it's sad they have to cop this.''

For Mrs Hutton, the damaging statements fly in the face of everything she has experienced at the hospital during at least six emergency visits with Jordan and as a patient herself with a history of miscarriages.

"It makes me mad,'' she said.

As Jordan played at her feet there was no hiding the depth of gratitude she felt for what the medical staff did for her in June 2003 when she ran into the hospital in a mad panic with a little boy nearly dead in her arms.

The drama had started about 10pm when Jordan's attack of croup, his first, worsened.

"He went from not feeling too good to gasping for air,'' she said.

"I chucked him into the car and went for the hospital.

"I couldn't find a park and just left the car. When I ran into the hospital he had stopped breathing.

"I was in a panic and then sud-denly there were doctors and nurses everywhere. They took him out of my arms and put him on a respirator.

"There was no quibbling or delays, they just took him in. "They had to calm me down too.''

Jordan spent the next three to four days in intensive care. Mrs Hutton is not the only former patient who has backed the emergency ward's performance.

Senior medical doctor Peter Reynolds yesterday said there had been heartening support from many people for the department which treated 38,000 patients a year.



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