Mother of tragic Orin McBride put son's needs ahead of her own cancer battle, inquest hears
The mother of a 14-year-old severely disabled Londonderry boy had given him "impeccable" care before his death in Belfast, putting his needs ahead of her own battle with breast cancer, a doctor has told the child's inquest.
Orin McBride's inquest also heard from a senior health official that getting children admitted to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC) is an ongoing problem.
Orin's mother Majella has already told the inquest that she had not agreed to allow her son to slip away when his condition deteriorated rapidly while in the RBHSC.
The youngster suffered from hydrocephalus, epilepsy and global developmental delay, and died from pancreatitis.
Before that, Orin had been admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital on June 16 after his health deteriorated and was transferred to RBHSC three days later, when a bed became available.
Orin was in the paediatric intensive care unit at RBHSC when, on June 28, clinicians decided to "not actively intervene" and "not actively resuscitate" when Orin's health declined rapidly.
Doctors present said in their evidence Ms McBride, of Strabane Old Road, Derry, understood and consented to this - but the boy's mother said she did not.
In his evidence, Dr Paul Molloy said he had been called to see Orin by his mother on June 4 but he did not think Orin was unwell enough to warrant a hospital stay.
Dr Molloy said he believed Orin's care had gone beyond that of a GP because of his complex needs exacerbated by the pancreatitis.
Dr Molloy said Ms McBride would not have delayed in contacting his medical practice if she was concerned about her son.
He added: "Majella looked after Orin impeccably, she is an absolutely fabulous mother.
"She had dedicated her whole life to looking after her children to the extent she put them above herself even when she was dealing with her own breast cancer."
The inquest heard that a Serious Adverse Incident review had been carried out following Orin's death. Ms Anne McCauley, governance manager with the Belfast Trust, told the court every death of a child had to be treated as a Serious Adverse Incident until the law was changed in 2016. She said the review into Orin's death did not identify any failure in his care.
The issue of the three-day delay in getting Orin a bed in RBHSC was raised by counsel for both Ms McBride and the Coroner, Patrick McGurgan.
Ms McCauley said it was it was a constant problem, both getting children into RBHSC and also getting them repatriated to their local hospital.
The inquest has been adjourned to October 5, sitting in Laganside Court.