Ellie-May Clark’s mother was a little late in bringing the 5-year-old to a doctor’s appointment for respiratory issues the young girl was suffering, so the office turned them away.
Just a few hours later, the young girl would be dead, and a legal battle would be sparked that has now lasted more than three years. As the New York Post reported, Ellie-May had an appointment with her doctor in early 2015 to address some breathing issues she was having. But the doctor refused to see the young girl after they arrived a bit late for the appointment, leaving the girl upset and her mother frustrated.
Hours later, the condition would worsen drastically, and Ellie-May’s mother would bring her to the hospital. The girl died a short time later of an acute respiratory ailment.
The incident happened in Wales and has since made international headlines amid a new report from a coroner showing that the death could have been prevented. As Sky News reported, the new report issued a harsh assessment of how the doctor treated the situation, saying the girl and her family should never have been turned away and especially without proper advice on how to monitor the condition and what to do if it worsened.
“From the evidence before me, it is not possible for me to determine with certainty whether an earlier intervention would have altered the outcome for Ellie, but nonetheless Ellie should have been seen by a GP that day and she was let down by the failures in the system,” noted Wendy James, senior coroner for Gwent.
As the New York Post noted, Ellie-May’s mother called the office at 4:35 p.m. to make an appointment and was told to arrive at 5 p.m. But Ellie’s mother had just given birth to a baby and did not have a car, so she did her best to arrive on time.
The family arrived just five minutes past their appointment time, but had to wait for the receptionist to end a phone call and for other patients ahead of them to be processed, the report noted. By the time they were seen, it was past the 10-minute grace period that the office gives to patients before canceling appointments. The office claimed that she was 18 minutes late, but the girl’s family has disputed this claim.
The doctor has since apologized to the family of Ellie-May Clark.