Kirsty died aged 17 on 29 August 2003. The causes of her death were pulmonary oedema and ventricular failure. Since her death, Kirsty's parents have fought for justice.
They have used the hospital's own complaints system. They have also had their complaint against the hospital investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman.
Despite the Ombudsman finding ‘significant failings', Kirsty's parents still do not feel that lessons have been learned from her premature death.
"When our beautiful daughter Kirsty died, like us she still believed that the hospital staff would save her. They failed her and allowed her to die in pain and without dignity.
Kirsty had a lot of love and understanding for other people and especially other disabled or very sick children. She met plenty of them along the way as altogether she had 101 admissions to hospital.
Although we treasured Kirsty, the problem for the doctors was the long list of 14 conditions that were part of her life. These weren't in fact a big problem for Kirsty; she made every effort to get on with life and was an inspiration to all of us. She was never without a smile on her face. We loved her for who she was and her death has left a real gap in our lives. We visit Kirsty's grave every day.
We loved her for who she was and her death has left a real gap in our lives. We visit Kirsty's grave every
Since she died we have been fighting for justice for Kirsty. It has been very hard to get hospital staff to accept that they have made mistakes. It breaks our hearts to remember how frightened she was during her final hospital stay."
The Health Ombudsman has already found that there were ‘significant failings in the care provided to Kirsty during her final illness' and that there was a ‘failure to recognise the seriousness of her condition'. Medical staff are named in this report and Kirsty's parents asked the General Medical Council to carry out an investigation. This investigation concluded that there were five areas of concern about a named doctor.
The GMC planned a disciplinary hearing but this has never taken place despite continued pressure from Kirsty's parents and their MP. This has left Kirsty's parents feeling that, despite the failings identified in the Health Ombudsman report, nobody is being held to account for these failings.
Mencap is campaigning for equal healthcare for all people with a learning disability. Find out more about our 'Death by indifference' campaign