Parents of boy who was left in intensive care after taking ibuprofen to launch legal action
16:01 02 January 2015
The family of a 13-year-old boy from Littleport who was left with burns to 65 per cent of his body after suffering a severe allergic reaction to painkillers are to take legal action against a hospital.
Calvin Lock reacted so severely to over-the-counter medicine Ibuprofen that he was on a life support machine for three days and had to be rushed to a specialist burns hospital in Essex.
But his parents Robyn Moult, 40, and Daryn Chambers, 49, say mistakes were made by doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, during his diagnosis which has led to further complications.
They say he was twice misdiagnosed as having chicken pox and sent home with antibiotics before he was found to be suffering with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which causes skins cells to die and shed.
Since his treatment, Calvin has developed a painful eye disease that will leave him blind in both eyes within the next two years.
He has been diagnosed with severe ocular surface disease - a severe condition affecting the corneas of his eyes.
The excessive scarring from the reaction to ibuprofen caused cornea erosions, and scarring of the eye’s mucous membranes which affect his eyelids.
He is also suffering with depression, post traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue and problems with his throat and mouth.
Calvin’s nightmare began in September 2012 when he was given regular Ibuprofen to tackle a viral infection.
He woke up the next morning with a rash on his face and a slight swelling to his ear.
Doctors mistakenly thought he was suffering with chickenpox and gave him more antibiotics which, the following day, had caused the swelling and rashes to spread across his body.
Calvin’s parents were told by NHS Direct that he was having an allergic reaction and that he should be taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital urgently.
Doctors at the hospital also mistook his symptoms for chickenpox and sent him home with yet more antibiotics, which left him unable to walk, talk or see by the following morning.
Unable to breathe, he was rushed back to Addenbrooke’s where, after much deliberation, doctors eventually established that he had Stevens Johnson Syndrome and moved him to intensive care.
He was put on a drip and work started on treating more than 200 blisters that had appeared on his body.
Over the coming days his condition continued to deteriorate and the decision was made to put him on a life support machine and transfer him to a specialist burns unit at the Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.
Calvin’s family were told his condition was critical and that his chances of survival were slim.
Doctors in Essex removed 65 per cent of his skin and his hair and fingernails also fell out. Two operations were carried out to treat the Ely College pupil and, after two nerve-shredding days, he was finally able to breathe by himself.
The teenager’s parents believe Calvin should have been transferred to the burns hospital sooner and that his diagnosis should have been referred to senior doctors at Addenbrooke’s earlier.
Cambridge University Hospitals, which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said it would not comment on individual cases.
Calvin will visit the House of Commons to speak about his condition later in the year. Together with his mother, he has also backed a new charity SJS Awareness. Visit sjsawareness.org.uk for more information.