The parents of a five-year-old girl who died from meningitis after being wrongly diagnosed with a stomach bug have been awarded a five-figure settlement.
Tragic Kelsey Smart died after three GPs failed to recognise her condition.
Her parents say it “cripples them inside” to think their little girl could have been saved.
The couple instructed lawyers to take legal action against the GP who examined Kelsey at an out-of-hours surgery.
The GP did not admit liability, but the case settled out of court for an undisclosed, five-figure sum.
Kelsey first fell ill less than 48 hours before her death in February 2012, but the out-of-hours doctor her mother called diagnosed her with a stomach bug over the phone.
She was taken to the out-of-hours surgery when her symptoms persisted and she developed a rash on her stomach but was again told it was just a bug.
The youngster, from Kingswood, Bristol., was then told the same thing for a third time by her own GP who examined the girl the following morning.
Shortly afterwards the five-year-old was screaming in agony and began fitting in the car as she was driven to A&E.
Kelsey underwent emergency surgery to drain fluid from her brain, but died despite the efforts of medics at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Her mother Hannah Smart, 29, said: “They said she had meningitis and she was brain damaged and there was nothing they could do.
“It all happened so quickly, I still can’t get my head around it, even now.
“It just cripples me inside to think that if they had done things differently, if they had acted sooner, then Kelsey could still have been here.
“Looking back the signs were there and I believe the doctors should have known. They really let us and Kelsey down.”
Kelsey’s parents hope speaking out may stop other families from having to suffer the same fate.
“If we can make just one more person aware then it’s worth it. I don’t want any other parents to have to go through what we have,”
Clinical negligence specialist, Stephen Clarkson, from law firm Slater and Gordon, represented Mrs Smart and her husband Jamie in legal action against the doctor who examined Kelsey.
She said: “Kelsey’s death was a preventable tragedy and that is something that Hannah and Jamie will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
“Nothing can bring her back, but they hope lessons will be learned and the conversation around meningitis will continue to raise awareness and to stop this happening to someone else.”