‘Are you human?’: Injured baby’s parents slam minister

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has apologised to the parents of a 21-month-old girl who was sent home from hospital with a fractured neck without receiving scans but the parents remain "angry" and have slammed him for "making excuses".

This comes as another parent comes out saying her son was misdiagnosed at Wyong Hospital.

The parents of Lorelei Bellchambers have also questioned if Mr Hazzard was "even human" in the wake of their phone call with him on Tuesday after they went public with their horrifying experience at Wyong Hospital.

Lorelei in hospital with her mum Elise and dad Ben.
Lorelei in hospital with her mum Elise and dad Ben.

Mr Hazzard rang the parents today and also spoke in parliament about the incident.

He has also launched an investigation into the treatment of Lorelei at the public facility.

The investigation will look into why Lorelei was sent home from Wyong Hospital without being scanned for serious injury despite being in a head-on car crash.

Doctors failed to diagnose Lorelei Bellchambers with a broken neck after the toddler was involved in a car crash. Picture: 7 News
Doctors failed to diagnose Lorelei Bellchambers with a broken neck after the toddler was involved in a car crash. Picture: 7 News

Two days later she was found to have two broken bones in her neck and her parents fear she could be paralysed.

"I am sorry, very sorry that Lorelei is in this situation," Mr Hazzard said in parliament.

"I have spoken to the parents and indicated to them once I know more about it I am able to make more public comments."

"A CAT scan of course, it radiates an area, babies have if you like very vulnerable organs particularly around the thyroid area, and the question of whether or not that was appropriate at that point is something which will have to be looked at in depth."

Mr Hazzard also bizarrely called Lorelei a "little fella" when he referred to her in parliament.

Parents Elise Bellchambers and Ben Bellchambers demand answers. Picture: 7 News
Parents Elise Bellchambers and Ben Bellchambers demand answers. Picture: 7 News

Mr Hazzard's call to Lorelei's parents, Elise and Ben, did not ease their anger.

"I was really angry when I got off the phone," Mrs Bellchambers said.

"He made it out that Wyong Hospital did all that it could when it didn't give her a scan."

"I was thinking 'are you kidding me? Are you even human?'.

"He was making excuses and that was not good enough, it was a pretty poor conversation."

Mr Bellchambers said Mr Hazzard was trying to make excuses for the hospital.

"The way he made it sound is that cancer is worse than a broken neck," My Bellchambers said.

"He was saying the risk of radiation was too great but I personally prefer my child to go through cancer treatment than be paraplegic."

Mr Hazzard said he had a good conversation with the Bellchambers but he could not contribute blame to the doctors before the results of the investigation were known.

"I called Ben and Elise and expressed my very strong concern about little Lorelei" he told the Telegraph.

Parents Elise Bellchambers and Ben Bellchambers. Picture: 7 News
Parents Elise Bellchambers and Ben Bellchambers. Picture: 7 News

" I also spoke to the medical specialist at Westmead and was assured that everything to be done is being done to Lorelei and it is looking positive at this point.

"I am very sorry for her condition and the accident that lead to it.

"It is far too early to determine whether or not there is any particular errors by medical staff and it is premature to lay blame at any body's feet."

NSW Health launched an investigation into the treatment of Lorelei on Monday after she was sent home from Wyong Hospital a week earlier without being scanned for serious damage.

Two days later, her mother Elise Bellchambers called an ambulance after Lorelei continued to "scream in pain".

She was taken to Wyong Hospital before she was transferred to Gosford Hospital to be flown to The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Doctors put her in an induced coma for scans which revealed she had fractured her C1 and C2 vertebrae.

They have told her parents she could be facing corrective surgery which would permanently restrict her movement.

Yesterday, Nicole Knibbs came out claiming her son Oliver Jones was also misdiagnosed at Wyong Hospital.

She claimed Oliver was admitted to Wyong on Friday September 27 with stomach pains and vomiting.

Appendicitis was ruled out, Ms Knibbs told Channel 7, and he was sent home with panadol.

Still vomiting and struggling to eat he was taken to the hospital a day later and sent home again.

On Monday, he was taken to Gosford Hospital where he went under surgery for a ruptured appendix.

Lorelei’s parents slammed their chat with the health minister as a “pretty poor conversation.”
Lorelei’s parents slammed their chat with the health minister as a “pretty poor conversation.”


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