Parents search for answers over son’s death

The Irish parents of a young New York boy are searching for answers as to why their son was sent home from a Manhattan emergency department in late March only to die three days later.

On Apr 1, Rory Staunton, 12, succumbed to severe septic shock brought on by an infection he caught after he received a minor cut to his arm during a game of basketball the previous Wednesday.

The following day, vomiting and complaining about a pain in his leg, he was referred to the emergency room at NYU Langone Medical Center where, according to the New York Times, doctors agreed he was suffering from an upset stomach and dehydration. He was given fluids and tablets and sent home.

Described as a “profound” and eager student, Rory grew up with his sister Kathleen and parents Ciarán and Orlaith, in Sunnyside Gardens, Queens. He is the nephew of prominent Irish-American Niall O’Dowd. The Stauntons have sought legal advice about what, if any, action to take, keen to see that a similar case does not arise again.

“They did the various checks, up, down, back and forth,” said Mr Staunton.

“They stated that it was a common flu that was going around. It would start off as high temperature and throwing up, and would end up as diarrhoea.”

However, his situation worsened and after admittance to the ICU, specialists were forced to resuscitate him twice before he died.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family at this difficult time,” said a hospital spokeswoman.

“Above all,” his mother said, “we know that Rory would want no other child to go through what he went through.”

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