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Girl (age 5) Fights For Life After Meningitis Misdiagnosed

Posted by ObeMike Wednesday, November 11, 2009

source: Irish Independent

THE family of a five-year-old girl spoke of their anguish after being told she had swine flu, only to see her fall seriously ill with meningitis.

The grandfather of Ruby Ayoub, who is battling for her life in hospital, told how he has "no more tears left" after seeing his granddaughter lapse into a coma.

John Holden (85) said his family "are all praying" for Ruby who remained seriously ill last night after being misdiagnosed with swine flu instead of meningitis at a southside doctor's surgery.

Her parents, Michel and Emer Ayoub, who live in Sandyford, south Dublin, held a vigil at her hospital bedside in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

Mr Holden had visited the only child in hospital on Monday night, and said she was "very bad".

"She was in a coma (yesterday) morning and a coma last night. They're all in bits including myself. I have no more tears left," he said.

Mr Holden, from Balally in Dundrum, Dublin, said Ruby -- who will turn six this Friday -- was staying with her aunt Bronagh and "her two little girls" last Friday night when the family became concerned for her health.

The little girl was taken to a doctor who thought that she was displaying symptoms of swine flu, Mr Holden said.

Both meningitis and swine flu can begin with similar symptoms, including high temperature, vomiting, headache as well as pain in limbs and joints.

"Ruby didn't look well and she said she had a headache . . . and Bronagh got worried," said Mr Holden.

"We didn't know what happened after that, she was brought home and that's all we heard until about Saturday. Then we heard she was taken up to the children's hospital in Crumlin."

The young girl had been taken to a private surgery on the south side of Dublin but the doctor thought she had swine flu and sent her home. 


"This is where I can't work it out. From Friday to Sunday, she was at home I think. That doctor they went to thought she had swine flu and just sent her home," Mr Holden said.

"He should have sent her (to hospital) right away. That was with the whole delay, she might have been cured if they got her on time."

He said Michel's nephew, who is himself a consultant, flew over to Dublin on hearing the news.

Mr Holden, who has three other grandchildren, said Emer and businessman Michel -- who owns Sandyford Motors -- are in a "terrible" way.

"Emer is in an awful state, she adores her," he added.

Mr Holden said when Ruby's 11-year-old cousin was told she was in a coma, "she had a bit of an idea" what was happening.

Mr Holden, who last saw his granddaughter last week, described her as "full-of-life . . . I can't believe it, that it would happen to her. She was all life".

A spokeswoman for the Crumlin hospital said: "The hospital does not comment on individual patient cases and respects patient confidentiality."

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