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Family raise awareness of childhood brain tumours through charity tractor run

Event to be held to raise awareness of the symptoms of childhood brain tumours

27 July 2015

Supporters of a charity inspired by the life of 2 year old Keira Lee, who died in December 2013, are holding a vintage tractor run to raise awareness for parents and healthcare professionals of the symptoms of childhood brain tumour.

Keira’s parents founded LoveUKeira to raise funds for awareness and research into childhood brain tumours. The charity have restored three vintage tractors, one lovingly painted pink in honour of Keira, and will drive them on the 700 mile journey around the South West of England starting in Crawley on 10 August and finishing at the Rudgwick Country Show on 31 August.

a poster for LoveUKeira Tractor Road Trip 2015, 10th - 31st August 2015 700 mile Vintage Tractor Road trip visiting Cornish steam and country fair 14th to 16th of August, Fairford Steam Rally 22nd to 23rd of August, Rudwick Country Show 29th to 31st of August, In aid of childhood brain tumour research and awareness

Keira was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2013. She underwent operations to reduce the swelling in her brain and to debulk the tumour. Sadly these operations were unable to save her and she died on 5 December 2013 aged 28 months.

An Inquest into her death heard that Keira had a history of gagging and vomiting for around 3 months prior to receiving the diagnosis of brain tumour and had displayed key symptoms including facial weakness and dilated pupils that ought to have been recognised by any medical professionals as symptoms of a brain tumour.

The Inquest heard that both Keira’s treating oto laryngologist and paediatrician failed to pick up on the key symptoms and did not perform a neurological examination. They both accepted that had they done a simple 15 minute examination they would have subsequently requested a brain scan.

Both the Consultant Paediatrician and Consultant Oto Laryngologist admitted that they were at the time unaware of the guidelines produced by the Royal College of Paediatricians on childhood brain tumours. Had they considered the guidelines, even the Quick Reference Guidance, they would have been made aware that if a child presents with persisting nausea and/or vomiting a brain tumour should be considered .

The Coroner, Dr Harris, found that the failure of the paediatrician, to refer Keira for a scan or to a neurologist contributed to her death.

The Inquest also heard that the standard of care provided to Keira in recovery at Kings College Hospital was inadequate.

Whilst by this point it was too late to have made a difference to Keira’s outcome, Dr Harris raised serious concerns regarding deficiencies in postoperative care and the lack of paediatric training of nurses in the recovery ward.

Dr Harris consequently reported these concerns to the Chief Executive at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and submitted that action should be taken to prevent future deaths. The response is due in August 2015.

Fiona Huddleston, the solicitor who represented Keira’s parents said:

“The evidence heard at the Inquest confirmed the numerous failings in the care provided to Keira. Whilst it has been an incredibly difficult time for Keira’s parents the Inquest has helped them gain a much better understanding of what happened and has prompted the Coroner to make a recommendation to prevent future deaths. We hope that it has also helped in raising awareness as to the key symptoms of brain tumours in children.”

For more details on the tractor road trip please visit
www.loveukeira.co.uk/tractorroadtrip or www.facebook.com/loveukeiraroadtrip

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