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Trust must tell truth at new inquest, says mother of Raychel Ferguson

Investigation: Raychel Ferguson
Investigation: Raychel Ferguson
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A woman whose nine-year-old daughter died from hyponatremia has said she hopes a fresh inquest will at last reveal the truth about the treatment she received before she passed away.

Raychel Ferguson died in the Royal Victoria Hospital in June 2001 after being transferred from Altnagelvin Hospital, where she had been admitted a day earlier with appendicitis.

She was one of four children whose deaths were found to have been avoidable during an inquiry by Judge John O'Hara.

Marie Ferguson welcomed the decision by the Attorney General John Larkin to hold a second inquest into her daughter's death. It is expected to get under way next year.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mrs Ferguson said it would be an opportunity for the Western Health Trust to abide by its duty of candour, as ruled by Judge O'Hara, which she hopes it will take.

She said: "I am not the same person who went into the first inquest into Raychel's death. I am not that naive, nervous person who didn't understand what an inquest really was; nor am I the person who assumed the Western Trust would co-operate fully with the coroner.

"The trust held important documents back at that first inquest but I am calling on them to take the opportunity this inquest will give them to put all the wrongs right and tell the truth.

"Judge O'Hara recommended a legally obliging duty of candour, so now the Western Trust has the chance to tell us what the circumstances were that led to Raychel's death.

"Raychel was only nine years old with her whole life ahead of her and she didn't have to die.

"Our lives have been stuck in some kind of limbo for 19 years and all because the trust wouldn't tell us the truth - so now we have to go through it all again."

The Western Trust said it did not comment on individual cases but said it always co-operates fully and openly in every coroner's inquest.

Belfast Telegraph


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