Wednesday 15 May 2013

Fitting In Shopping

It's a fear every parent has to deal with. You child becomes sick. I don't mean vomiting, I mean big sick. Or,they may not actually be 'big sick' but you think they are! And that isn't a criticism! I was the same, if my boy farted and it didn't sound right, I panicked. He he stayed asleep I'd poke him until he cried just in case! It's what we do, we want to do everything we can to make sure they are OK and nothing will get in the way of that! NOTHING! It would be a very brave person to try and get in the way of a manic parent! Unfortunately, not all parents seem that caring. Some, quite simply don't give a dam, or so it seems. Some's priorities are so warped its hard to see what part of them is a parent. If someone in the medical profession told me my boy needed hospital that second I would move heaven and earth to get him there, that second. To me, there is nothing more important than my child's health and happiness.

"1 year old male, having seizure, in pharmacist" 

This job had all the makings of a simple job. Generally a 'seizure' In a 1 year old is a febrile convulsion, normally caused my a high temperature. They are very common in under 5s and most parents end up seeing them at some point. They can be very scary to watch if you've never seen one before and it's no wonder most parents we see are running round like headless chicken when we arrive on scene, beside themselves with angst! This is what we expected anyway, but I should know by now that in this job, always expect the unexpected. 

We pulled up outside, grabbed our stuff and headed into the pharmacist. One of the pharmacists gave me an excellent handover while taking me throughout to their treatment room. Apparently the kid had started having the seizure so the mum put the boy on the floor and 'wondered over to the counter and asked for something to stop the shaking'. The pharmacist picked up the child and took her into the treatment room whilst a colleague phoned for us. Lying on the bed, still fitting was this little boy. Holding his hand was one of the pharmacists who quite rightly looked very concerned. Sitting on a chair, texting, was the mother. How caring! 

The boy had been fitting now for 12-14 minutes which got alarm bells ringing in my head! We gave him oxygen and administered diazepam to try and stop the seizure. To all our relief, within a few minutes he stopped. He laid the panting away, it's horrible to see. His mum, still texting had nothing to say and seemed totally un-moved by the whole event. 

"Right, we need to get him to hospital, do you want to carry him or shall I?!" 

"Does he have to go to hospital? He's better now." 

*pause whilst my bottom jaw drops and hits the floor with a thud* 

"YES! He's not very well at all." 

"Alright, can you carry him, I've got stuff to carry, I'll be there in a sec." 

With my jaw dragging along the floor, I carried the boy to ambulance. H was still limp. I laid him onto the bed, reattached the oxygen to the vehicle supply and connected him up to the monitoring. The mother hadn't followed us and was still in the pharmacist. I left the boy with my crewmate whilst I marched back to the shop. What was she doing? Some shopping! 

"What are you doing? We need to go now!" I exclaimed. 

"Alright, keep your hair on, there's just a few bits I need to get?" 

"That can wait, we need to go now!" 

She ignored me and wondered over to the till. 

"Did you hear me? We need to go now. You son is not very well at all." 

Seeing my concern and anger the pharmacist told the mother to just take the stuff and go the ambulance, which she did. I was speechless. As we got back to the ambulance the boy started fitting again. 

"Right, lets just go, I'll put the call in on route" 

Off we went. Me standing, boy fitting, mum texting. 

"Red base, blue call when you're ready for details." 

"Go ahead." 

"We have a 1 year old male in status epilepticus, 1 seizure lasting 14 minutes and currently having a second seizure. Pulse of 168, resp rate of 48, oxygen saturation of 100%, temperature of 40.9 C, GCS 3 (unconscious), patients on full flow oxygen and has had 5mg of diazepam PR (up the bum), ETA 4-5 minutes" 

"Rog, passing it for you now." 

By the time that was done we were already hurtling up the road towards the hospital. With one hand I was holding onto the ceiling bar, the other making sure the boy stayed on the bed. The mum was still full of apathy and my jaw was still on the floor. As we pulled into the hospital, boy still fitting, she spoke.... 

"How long do you reckon we will have to wait before we can go home?" 

"A LONG TIME. Your son is still fitting, he is not well at all, as I keep saying, it isn't a case of waiting for 2 hours then going home." 

"I was only asking." 

The tail lift opened and we wheeled the bed out and rushed into resus. The team were waiting for us and in a change from the norm, I started my handover the second I was in earshot of them. They knew from the call the seriousness of the situation in a child so young. Perhaps one of them will be able to drag the mother away from her phone to explain that. 

I really was speechless. What is there to say? Never have I seen such apathy and disregard for a child from their mother. This poor little boy could well be fighting for his life and shopping came first. I'm often critical of various people's attitudes in society for a variety of reasons. I'm often judgmental and question the morality of what a lot of people do, but never have I seen someone so unfit to have the privilege of being a parent. And it is a privilege. I will live my life judging myself by the way my son is brought up and how I acted as a parent. How people like that are allowed to keep their children I will never know. It truly breaks my heart thinking about it. 


  1. In the US, that's the kind of thing I'd (be required to) file a Children's Services report on - are you able to do something similar?

    1. All UK ambulance professionals can file a Child Protection report for this sort of case, the hospital and probably the pharmacist could do so as well.

      It's also something where what is written on the Patient Report Form in terms of the scene on arrival could be very important.

      Certainly, if called to this job as a First Responder I would make sure the ambulance crew knew about Mum's attitude and lack of concern.

    2. We do and I certainly did!

    3. "We do and I certainly did!" damn right to have done too.

      To be honest I think we've got to a point in society where you need to have a licence to have kids, to make sure selfish cretins like that mum don't bleed. I daresay it would have to be tied into finances to make it work though.

      Draconian? Yes, but if this kind of mum is the alternative ...

  2. OMG- I am truely speechless. I hope and pray the poor little mite has/is recovered and that the parent gets the help they so clearly need.


  3. That poor little boy having a mother like that. Breaks my heart x

  4. That poor little boy having a mother like that. Breaks my heart x

  5. Tears are stinging my eyes after reading that. I'm deeply shocked! It's sickening that someone cares so little for their child's life

  6. That is just shocking.... poor little bubba!

  7. Hope that got a child protection referral to social services. People are baffling.

  8. I so hope you completed a social services refer or info sharing form(I'm sure you did with enthusiasm).
    Silly cow doesn't deserve to have a child

  9. this made me teary. having had both my kids go through serious health problems i know for absolutely certain that the one thing they need more than anything when they are sick and scared is a caring, loving mum (which can also be dad, nan, grandad, older brother, auntie etc...all valid mums) what a poor little lamb.
    i still sit there holding the hand of my twenty year old when he has a hospital visit and i cant imagine what kind of pychopath has no empathy for their own child.

    1. My 18 yr old recently spent night in A&E after getting knocked unconscious while at birthday party where he had been drinking. Nobody (least of all me) could call which of his symptoms were drink and which were head so he was monitored while he slept it off once he stopped being sick (his mate who had drank the same amount was fine - merry but nowhere near paralytic) I was awake all night watching over him - it would not occur to me not to do so.
      To have something that serious in a 1 year old and not be terrified is unimaginable - I admire the professionalism of Ella, the other staff, and the people in the pharmacy including the pharmacist, in giving the woman a piece of their mind - I probably would not have held back.

  10. She probably only had the kid for the child benefit. Poor lamb.

    1. thats twenty quid a week. i suspect that even an uncaring useless mother spends more than she gains if she has a child for the `child benefit'

  11. A friend of mine and his wife are jumping through hoop after hoop to adopt a child. Meanwhile, morons like this one get to receive the most precious gift there is. What a shame you can't carry a volunteer MoP around with you. You might not be able to tell them what you think of them, but one of us would happily do it for you!

  12. I'm gobsmacked by this! When my little girl was about 5 months old we thought she was having a fit (i'm actually getting teary just writing this) and honestly I have never been so terrified in my whole entire life! We called an ambulance immediately (luckily they didn't think it was a fit and she is fine)and when we got home I was in a state of shock. Worst night of my life. For someone to see their child fitting and not care truely angers me. As you say having a child is a privilege and something I am thankful for everyday.

  13. They live amongst us.... but what's worse is that they breed!

  14. They live amongst us.... but what's worse is that they breed!


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