Teenager died from perforated stomach

Bolton Coroners' Court
Bolton Coroners' Court
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A Wigan teen died from a perforated stomach six days after a scan identified the hernia that likely caused it, an inquest heard.

Sean Akdemir was 16 when he collapsed at home on December 16, 2014, and was rushed to hospital where he died a short time later, an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s’ Court heard.

I would like to know how the report from the CT was prepared and who it was sent to and why Sean was not recalled to hospital when the problems first happened

Maureen Akdemir

The Springfield student had been suffering five months of abdominal pain after an operation to fix a diaphragm abnormality.

He was found to have an eventrated diaphragm meaning the left side of it sat above the right and reduced his lung capacity on that side by 20 per cent.

In a statement read to the court by senior coroner Jennifer Leeming, Sean’s mum Maureen said that in June 2013 Sean had hurt his back in the gym and was referred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

She said: “He was examined and sent for an X-ray and the results showed there was something wrong with Sean’s diaphragm.

“The doctor decided it was best to deal with that first before sorting his back.”

Sean was referred to Dr Matthew Jones, an Alder Hey consultant paediatric surgeon and attended an appointment with him in March 2014.

The decision was made to operate on the muscular partition in a bid to improve his lung capacity but Sean, who was studying for his A-levels at John Rigby, decided to wait until the holidays so he didn’t miss any studies.

Mrs Akdemir said: “After the operation, Sean had pain in his stomach and heartburn. He was bent over in bed in pain. We discussed it with the doctors but they put it down to postoperative recovery.

“At home, Sean continued to have pain in his stomach and had problems going to the toilet. He had a follow up six weeks after the operation with Mr Jones.”

Despite repeated visits to his GP and Alder Hey and a trip to Wigan Infirmary A&E, no-one could explain what was causing the pain.

He underwent a CT scan on December 10 but the following weekend Sean began vomiting.

Mrs Akdemir took him to see GP Dr Liam Hosie who prescribed anti-sickness medication to try to get Sean’s symptoms under control.

But he continued to feel ill and collapsed in the early hours of the following morning.

Dr Hosie told the court that when he had seen Sean he had not yet received the results of the CT scan which the court heard showed Sean had a hernia on his diaphragm.

But he said: “I cannot honestly say if I had seen the results I would have acted differently. This is a highly unusual and complex case.”

He also said he was aware that Sean had an appointment at Alder Hey on December 19 to review the results of the scan and believed Sean had a sickness bug.

Consultant paediatric histopathologist Melanie Newbould, who carried out an autopsy on Sean, said he died from a hemopneumothorax - blood and air in the chest cavity - as a result of the diaphragm hernia which had led to his stomach’s perforating.

She said it was likely caused by the abnormality in his diaphragm and the surgery may have contributed by further weakening it.

Mrs Akdemir said: “Sean was my life and my angel. He was such a wonderful boy and had the kindest heart.

“He was passionate about sport and an avid Wigan Warriors supporter. He had lots of friends and he will be missed by all who knew him.

“I have a number of concerns I would like to raise, like whether the problem with his diaphragm had been identified when he was a child and if so why it wasn’t operated on when he was younger.

“I want to know whether he could have lived his life without the operation and I would like to know why Mr Jones thought he could carry out the operation even though he was used to operating on small children.

“I would like to know why nothing was done to help Sean following the results of the CT scan even though the hernia was identified on December 10.

“When did Mr Jones learn the results of the CT? Why was there not better communication between staff?

“I would like to know how the report from the CT was prepared and who it was sent to and why Sean was not recalled to hospital when the problems first happened.”