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Parents want answers after baby dies on holiday in Portugal

Parents want answers after baby dies on holiday in Portugal

A family from north London want answers from the Portuguese authorities after their infant son died on holiday.

Adonis Powell-Larochelle fell ill early into the family’s holiday and was treated in hospital, but died 48 hours later of sepsis on 19 May.

His parents Deza Powell and Paul Larochelle, from Enfield, say they want “justice” for their 10-month-old, and an apology for how they were treated.

Portugal’s Ministry of Health told the BBC it “deeply regrets the outcome”.

Warning: the following details may be distressing.

His parents said Adonis had been “eating fine” and was sleeping well, but the following evening got a temperature.

When he began struggling to breathe, on the second day of their holiday, Ms Powell took him to hospital but, as they had travel insurance, they were confident that he would be well looked after.

They say they were told Adonis probably had a chest infection, and were sent home with an asthma pump, ibuprofen and paracetamol.

‘He was floppy’

But the next day, his symptoms worsened again.

“He really slept well [but] he woke up and was crying, and I woke him up and he was like a rag doll. He was so floppy and his eye was swollen,” Ms Powell said.

The parents said when they returned to the hospital, nurses and medical staff conducted more tests.

Ms Powell said one woman told her: “‘He’s going to be fine, he’s gonna be okay’. And I cried because what I was looking at and what they were telling me wasn’t resonating with me at all.

“His breathing was getting worse and worse and worse.”

‘All I could do was pray’

The family said they did not understand what treatment Adonis was given, but when his condition stabilised they were told he was being transferred by air ambulance to an intensive care unit at a bigger hospital.

Mr Larochelle said: “Two hours went by and they were still in there working on the child when he was supposed to be being transferred, so all I could do was pray.”

Adonis did not survive.

Speaking through tears, Ms Powell explained: “We want accountability, we want an apology, we want someone to acknowledge him, because at the end of the day he was a baby.”

The family are now fundraising for legal representation and are waiting to find out when the body will be returned home.

Portugal’s Ministry of Health told the BBC it “deeply regrets the outcome of this case and sends its condolences to the bereaved family”.

A spokesperson added: “Appropriate paediatric care was provided to this child by the Portuguese NHS. Unfortunately, it was not possible to reverse the worsening of the clinical situation.

“Inquiries into the procedures adopted in this case are ongoing.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British child who died in Portugal and are in contact with the local authorities.”

The Embassy of Portugal declined to comment.

Source: BBC