Parents of 19-month-old Noah Souvatzis call for Victorian inquest into his death

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The parents of 19-month-old Noah Souvatzis are requesting the Coroners Court of Victoria hold an inquest into their son’s death, ABC News has reported.

Noah presented to Northeast Health Wangaratta hospital in Victoria in December 2021 after being sick for four or five days while the family holidayed in the state’s north-east.

According to the Herald Sun, Noah’s parents said there were a lack of resources at nearby health services the toddler visited before presenting to Wangaratta hospital, and poor communication between those services and the hospital.

His parents said these miscommunications and “negligence” meant Noah was discharged from Northeast Health Wangaratta hospital and two days later, the 19-month-old died of meningitis at the Royal Children’s Hospital on December 30, 2021.

According to ABC News, Safer Care Victoria conducted a multi-agency review into the matter, but the court heard the family did not agree with its findings.

Northeast Health Wangaratta hospital. Photo: northeasthealth.org.

On Tuesday, a statement from Noah’s mother and father, Ben and Steph, was read to the Victorian court by the family’s lawyer, Paul Lamb, describing him as “a special little boy.”

In a summary of the matter read on the day, concerns about the level of care Noah received at Wangaratta hospital were also discussed.

“They do seek an inquest… into Noah’s death to ensure there’s a comprehensive and independent investigation, because they want to make sure that what happened to their family will never again happen to their family,” Mr Lamb said.

A spokesperson for Northeast Health Wangaratta said “a comprehensive review of this case has occurred and activities to implement the review recommendations are in progress.”

Proceedings have been adjourned.

Source: ABC

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