Hailsham mum fighting for her child who keeps coughing up blood

A mum from Hailsham isn’t happy with the care her child has received after months of coughing up blood.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 10:34 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 3:32 pm
Summer Nicholls. SUS-210914-165212001

Jessica Nicholls said on June 7 this year she had to collect her 13-year-old daughter Summer from school as she was coughing blood.

She said they went to A&E at Eastbourne DGH, where Summer was treated for a chest infection and given antibiotics.

In the days that followed Jessica said Summer continued to cough up pink fluid so an X-ray was done on June 10 but nothing abnormal could be found.

Weeks went by of chest pain and more blood being coughed up which resulted in Summer struggling to eat/drink/sleep normally, according to Jessica.

Jessica said, “She’s exhausted, scared, and most of all she’s in agony.

“I tried to get her appointment on September 14 moved forward but I’ve been told because her blood tests and X-rays are fine she has to wait.

“She is the fittest, sportiest child you would ever meet and she’s stuck inside - can’t even go and see her friends now! She can’t go to school and hasn’t been since June 7!

“It’s disgusting behaviour you wouldn’t leave an animal in pain like this so why a child? Why are they not helping her – three months this has been going on for and it’s just getting worse.”

She said they’ve been in and out of A&E eight times for pain relief and had an ambulance called out but claims that staff wouldn’t do anything other than recommend paracetamol and ibuprofen.

On August 31 Jessica said they attended A&E in Brighton Hospital but were told to go home.

In response to this incident Dr Ryan Watkins, chief of service for children and women’s division for the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said, “We’re sorry to hear about Summer’s experience over the past year, which has been very upsetting for her and her mother.

“We saw Summer in our Children’s Emergency Department in August where she was assessed, investigated and discharged with advice.

“Summer re-attended and was admitted to our hospital in September and had further investigations. We have now made a diagnosis and prescribed appropriate treatment and will see Summer again to review her progress.”

Paul Cloves, head of emergency care for the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said, “We work hard to ensure that all patients receive a timely assessment in our emergency departments and part of that assessment may mean it is often more appropriate for a patient to be followed up by a specialist team.

“It is reassuring that the patient now has appropriate follow up with our colleagues in University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.”

Since the A&E visit at the end of August, Summer has had various tests done with doctors concluding on September 9 that her stomach is ‘extremely inflamed with extreme reflux’ which is causing Summer to cough up blood, said Jessica.

Jessica said she now believes paracetamol and ibuprofen have made this worse.

Jessica said, “She’s not eating and she’s so depressed.

“The damage to her stomach is so bad and it took them three months to realise.”

Summer got out of hospital on September 9 and is now on stronger medication from home but Jessica stressed she’s ‘still fighting’ for her daughter, who is still ‘so poorly’.