Inquiry into death of severely ill toddler Noah Souvatzis continues

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A severely ill toddler who died of meningitis was released from a remote Victorian hospital in worse condition than when he arrived, a coroner has heard.

According to 9News, an inquiry is being held into the death of 19-month-old Noah Souvatzis, who fell ill while on holiday with his parents in Myrtleford on December 29, 2021; he was vomiting, wailing for hours, and running a high temperature.

Unable to secure an appointment with their local GP in Melbourne, Noah’s parents, Ben and Steph decided to take him to an urgent care centre in town, the Alpine Health facility, after he became severely lethargic.

Ben and Steph Souvatzis make a statement to the media after giving evidence at the Coroners Court in the inquest into the December 2021 death of their 1-year-old boy Noah Souvatzis. (The Age)
Ben and Steph Souvatzis make a statement to the media after giving evidence at the Coroners Court for son, Noah Souvatzis. Photo: The Age.

Despite Souvatzis’ concerns that her son was still unwell, the doctor made the decision to discharge Noah.

“I remember feeling relief Noah had started vomiting again…because I thought it would mean [the doctor] would no longer make us leave,” Souvatzis said.

“He was sick when he went into hospital but now he deteriorated. He was so much worse than before he came in.”

Noah’s parents rushed him to the urgent care centre in Benalla after he began making strange squealing noises and his face became distorted. Noah was then taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital after he further deteriorated and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

At 3.11pm on December 30, Noah was declared brain dead.

Outside the Coroner’s Court, Noah’s parents remembered their son as a beautiful, gentle boy who loved cuddles and making others smile and laugh.

“We want a comprehensive investigation into the multiple failures that occurred that day,” Souvatzis added.

“We know our little boy would still be here today if all the medical services provided the expected level of care.”

Source: 9News

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