Cambridgeshire boy, eight, died after ambulance that was meant to take him to hospital was cancelled

Kaleb Ablett died from cardiac arrest, after an ambulance that was meant to take him to hospital was stood down. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell)Kaleb Ablett died from cardiac arrest, after an ambulance that was meant to take him to hospital was stood down. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell)
Kaleb Ablett died from cardiac arrest, after an ambulance that was meant to take him to hospital was stood down. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell) | Irwin Mitchell
Kaleb Ablett should have been taken to hospital - but the ambulance that would have taken him there was cancelled.

An eight-year-old boy who died from a blood clot would have survived if the ambulance being sent to him wasn't cancelled.

Kaleb Ablett died in December 2019, after a chest infection left him breathless and with marks on his skin - which looked like bruising. There were concerns about sepsis and an ambulance was called, but an emergency medical technician (EMT) stood the ambulance down.

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He was taken to Peterborough City Hospital the next day and continued to deteriorate, dying from a cardiac arrest on 30 December - around 24 hours after being admitted.

An inquest in February last year concluded that Kaleb had died from deep vein thrombosis triggered by a Group A Strep infection behind his left knee. Now, East of England NHS Trust has apologised, admitting that the youngster would have survived if the ambulance wasn't called off.

Four years on, mum Claire Wesley and her medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell are calling for lessons to be learned.

Claire, 41, said: "I knew something was seriously wrong with him but nothing prepared me for what happened. I’ll never forget the moment I was told I had lost my little boy - I remember falling to the floor.

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"All of our lives have been torn to pieces by losing Kaleb, and the pain and grief is still as raw today as it was back then. I feel like I’ve been robbed of a future with my beloved boy and nothing will ever heal the pain and grief I’m suffering.

"He loved the outdoors, was fit and healthy, and was convinced he was going to be a footballer when he grew up. When he began to feel under the weather we thought it was just a cold - however, within a few days, his condition had got a lot worse."

The NHS trust said it failed to “take into account the entire picture” with regards to the youngster’s symptoms, which included a temperature of more than 40 degrees Celsius. The trust also admitted that Kaleb should have been referred for senior clinical input by an out-of-hours GP who would have recommended Kaleb be taken to hospital.

They said if he had been discharged home with oral antibiotics which “on the balance of probabilities would have resolved the Group A Streptococcus infection…and Kaleb would have survived".

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Marianne Stapleton, the expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Claire, said: "The past four years and trying to come to terms with Kaleb’s tragic death have been incredibly difficult for Claire and her family. Understandably they remain devastated by Kaleb’s death and the circumstances surrounding it.

"Since losing her little boy so suddenly, Claire has had a number of questions about what happened. We’ve been determined to help her obtain the answers she deserves and therefore welcome the trust’s admission.

"Strep A is a bacteria that can cause many different infections, ranging from minor to fatal illnesses, with early detection and treatment vital in beating it. Therefore it’s vital that lessons are learned from Kaleb’s death to improve patient safety for others."

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