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Mother claims her son with Down syndrome was written off by doctors

Rachel Browne
Photo: ©AAP

A shattered mother has fought back tears recalling a series of heartbreaking mistreatments she says doctors inflicted on her disabled son leading up to his death, Daily Mail reports. 

Rachel Browne told the the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability in Sydney that hospital staff wrote off her son Finlay as ‘just a grizzly child with Down syndrome’.

The 16-year-old from Bathurst in New South Wales died following an agonising 71-day fight in hospital in 2016 which included 12 abdominal surgeries and 65 days spent in the paediatric intensive care unit.During an earlier occasion at Bathurst Hospital, Ms Browne said doctors appeared offended that she had come prepared for her child to be committed.

The mother said she was then given a distressing discharge summary letter for her GP. ‘It referred to Finlay as a grizzly child with Down syndrome who had poor dental hygiene and I felt that comment was completely irrelevant as to why we were there,’ she said.

Finlay, who also lived with autism, fell rapidly ill in September 2016, suffering terrible pain, vomiting and had blood in his faeces and was rushed to Bathurst Hospital. When they arrived, Ms Browne said Finlay, who was so weak he had to be held, collapsed on the floor.’The triage nurse, when I looked up rolled her eyes, and I thought “that’s it, we’re not going to get the help we need”,’ she said.

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