Parents call for full investigation into Hitchin toddler’s death

PUBLISHED: 16:53 16 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:13 17 April 2012

Joanne with daughter Jasmine.

Joanne with daughter Jasmine.


A CAMPAIGN has been set up by the parents of a 20-month-old girl who died last year, in a bid to get parents of ill children listened to by health care professionsals.

Jasmine Hughes, who lived in Hitchin with parents Joanne and Jeff, died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in February last year, one month after she was first admitted to Lister Hospital with a suspected post viral condition.

Following a series of tests at both hospitals, her condition deteriorated and she was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital on February 4, where she remained critically ill before she tragically died on February 15.

Mrs Hughes has now set up a group, Mother’s Instinct, designed to offer support to parents and families in similar situations and to raise awareness of the importance of parents being listened to.

Mr and Mrs Hughes are also calling for a full investigation into the standard of care provided at both Lister Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. They believe more could have been done to save Jasmine.

“We really want to know why the medical professionals didn’t listen to us when we voiced concerns that tests were taking too long, and no treatments were being offered, when all the time our little girl’s health was deteriorating right in front of us,” said Mrs Hughes.

Speaking about her daughter, she added: “Jasmine was the centre of our world. She was angelic looking with her bright blonde hair and blue eyes, and she was wonderfully entertaining. She liked to be out and about, seeing people and doing things.

“I took her to lots of activities, and she really enjoyed swimming, baby gymnastics, and sing and sign classes. She knew lots of words and would make us giggle with her cute little phrases, like ‘Up Daisy’ if she tripped over, and ‘Pupumper’ her word for cucumber. She loved books, particularly Charlie and Lola stories, and she liked to watch In The Night Garden before bed. She loved our dogs Bailey and Charlie, and they loved her back.

“Everyone adored her, and I would often receive comments at how funny and feisty she was. She certainly knew her own mind even at such a young age. She was a brilliant little girl, I couldn’t be any more proud of who she was if I tried.

“Since Jasmine’s death, we have never been the same again. There is no love like that a parent has for their child, and no pain worse than seeing your baby suffer and die.

“Memories of her deterioration and subsequent death will traumatise us for the rest of our lives. We only hope we can improve the way parents are listened to and communicated with in the future. We will dedicate our efforts in this regard, and the development of our charity called ‘Mothers Instinct’ to the memory of our beautiful daughter, Jazzie.”

An inquest is to be held into Jasmine’s death at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Thursday.

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