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Inquest starts into baby's hospital death
From: AAP January 16, 201212:49PM
THE mother of a baby boy who died after being given antibiotics for an eye infection has told a coronial inquest he had turned white and started vomiting.
Tama Galiere died on June 25, 2008, after he was admitted to Sydney Children's Hospital.
"How does a 10-month-old otherwise healthy child go into hospital and not survive?" counsel assisting the coroner, Sergeant Sheldon Koreluk, said in her opening statement today.
Tama visited a doctor in February 2008 for an infection in his left eye and was taken to hospital on June 10, where he was given antibiotics intravenously during a 10-day stay.
His mother Karamia Wheaton took him home from hospital on June 20 but he had to be re-admitted the next day when the eye infection returned.
A catheter was inserted into his arm on June 23 but he died two nights later from inflammation of the heart, Glebe Coroners Court was told.
Ms Wheaton said she watched her son get increasingly ill.
"He was white as a ghost and I knew straight away something was wrong," she told the inquest as she fought back tears.
Only a short time earlier she had waited up to 15 minutes to get a doctor after her son's lips had turned blue.
He had also vomited over his grandmother who had flown into Sydney from New Zealand.
"He was turning his head from side to side like he was having a nightmare," Ms Wheaton said.
"He was still. He wasn't moving. He was getting cold."
Ms Wheaton told the inquest that she had not been told of the risks of the treatment used on Tama, who was given a Maori name meaning boy.
Tama's father and Ms Wheaton held hands during the inquest, which continues before deputy state coroner Scott Mitchell.