Norwich: Meningitis Inquest

A two-year-old girl from Norwich died from meningitis after her parents were wrongly told she was suffering from swine flu, an inquest has heard.

Georgia Keeling died after being rushed to hospital on August 4th, 2009, at the height of the swine flu pandemic. 

Her older sister, Charlie, had earlier been correctly diagnosed with the disease, contributing to the confusion. 

After her death, her parents, Paul Sewell and Natasha Keeling, spoke out to highlight a catalogue of failings. 

Giving evidence at an inquest in Norwich, Ms Keeling said a paramedic had arrived earlier in the day only to send an ambulance away because it was "another case of swine flu". 

"They gave me some Tamiflu and I was told all I had to do was get her temperature down,'' she added. "I felt relieved because I thought she had been diagnosed and had all the stuff she needed.'' 

Georgia's condition continued to deteriorate throughout the day. Breaking down in tears, Ms Keeling said: "I went to the toilet and she screamed out 'mum' to me. She sounded really distressed. Her eyes were glazed over and she wasn't breathing. I was trying to resuscitate her.'' 

Ms Keeling called 999 immediately and an ambulance arrived at about 4pm. Georgia was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but was pronounced dead at 4.24pm. 

A post-mortem later showed she died from septicaemia - the blood poisoning form of meningitis. 

Ms Keeling said: "She was a fantastic girl. She had a great character, even when she was naughty. You couldn't tell her off because she always made you laugh.''

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