A young mother’s instinct saved her baby’s life after doctors mistook a life-threatening heart condition – for a blocked nose.
Lauren Bishop, 20, was told by her GP that four-month-old Raegan was just suffering from a cold but she insisted it was something more serious.
She took him to A&E and refused to leave until medics carried out tests on the tot, which revealed a potentially lethal heart murmur.
Within hours of the diagnosis, Raegan underwent emergency surgery to widen a section of his heart – an operation which saved his life.
Lauren said doctors have since told her without her quick-thinking actions, he would have died in two months.
She said: “This is by far the most important cold my boy is going to have in his entire life.
“Because had I not taken him to the GP on that day, his condition could have killed him.
“All these months he has been smiley and bubbly but inside he was seriously sick and needed urgent treatment.”
Raegan first fell ill at the family’s home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and was taken to the GP on October 18 as he struggled to breathe.
Lauren and her partner Robin Thomas were told he just had a blocked nose and were advised to take him home to be looked after.
But instead, they took him to Southend Hospital where paediatric doctors diagnosed him as having bronchitis – an inflammatory disease that results in obstruction of the airways.
A scan of the youngster’s heart also found he had a heart murmur, but when doctors tried to delay further tests for six weeks, Lauren refused to leave the ward.
A further chest x-ray found Raegan had a ‘large and thick heart’, which needed emergency surgery to fix.
He was rushed to Royal Brompton Hospital on October 19 where he underwent emergency surgery four days later to widen an opening in the aorta.
Lauren says her motherly instinct kicked in because she knew her son was sicker than doctors thought.
Lauren said: “When they said I could take him my motherly instincts kicked in and I simply refused to go anywhere.
“I insisted that they do more tests to find out why he was breathing so heavily.
“Thank God I did as the next day we were rushed for a chest X-ray. My world came crashing down
“It was the worst time of my life, the fear of the unknown.”
Raegan is currently recovering in hospital and Lauren says that he is making a good recovery.
Lauren, a former carer, added: “The past few weeks have been a blur and to think my bubbly son could have died from what was thought to be a blocked nose is terrifying.
“I am so happy with how fast the doctors acted when they realised how sick Raegan was.
“All along he showed no physical symptoms that we should have started noticing when he was born.
“My son may now be able to have a normal life one day and although he will be on medication for a long time, it is better than what could have happened.
“My young son could have died.”
Denise Townsend, director of nursing at Southend Hospital, said: “I would like to extend my best wishes to Raegen and his family for his continuing recovery.
“I would also encourage Raegen’s family to contact us if they would like to talk about any aspect of the care or treatment he received at Southend Hospital.”