Suspected brain bug killed Doncaster boy

Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP DRI MC 1
Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP DRI MC 1

Marc Poole, known as MJ, from Mexborough, was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary after suddenly falling ill.

His mother, Sharon Carver, told Doncaster Coroner’s Court he had seemed ‘his normal self’ on Saturday, May 16 last year – two days before his death – but he had said his head hurt so she gave him some Calpol.

Coppice Special School pupil MJ, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, had had no health problems for more than 12 months before his death, although he had suffered from asthma and seizures during his life.

After his Calpol, Miss Carver said MJ was then taken out by a care worker who knew him well and often cared for him.

The inquest heard MJ vomited twice while with him and was unable to stand up by himself, so the carer gave him a piggyback.

Miss Carver said MJ’s carer had been concerned and brought him straight home. She said: “He said his hands were cold and he knows him really well so he would know his body temperature. When he got home he just laid on the sofa, he was so pale and he was shaking a bit.”

The inquest heard MJ was lethargic, which his mother said was not like him at all.

She said: “He ran about a lot, he was always on the go, he was bouncing off the walls.”

After calling an out-of-hours doctor, Miss Carver took her son to the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where she was told MJ’s symptoms could be down to a viral infection and he was not given antibiotics.

But while at the hospital, Miss Carver noticed MJ had a rash and took photographs of it on her mobile phone.

However, once doctors came to check on MJ it had faded and said they could not identify the rash on the photograph.

The inquest heard that after further tests, medical staff told Miss Carver MJ had suspected meningitis.

Ward sister Leslie Musk told the inquest some of MJ’s chart was not filled in correctly when he was admitted to the hospital.

Staff would normally have taken temperature, pulse and respiratory rate – but these were not on the chart until a later check.

MJ’s condition worsened and he was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital but doctors were unable to save him and he died in the early hours of the Monday morning.

The inquest continues.