Queenslanders Megan and Ron Moore have spoken out after losing their 28-year-old son Lachlan to COVID-19, a death they say could have been prevented if rapid antigen tests had been available.
The couple have filed a formal complaint to Redcliffe Hospital, south of Brisbane, after their son died in his sleep at home, hours after being discharged.
“He was just so happy and funny and loved everyone,” Mrs. Moore said.
Lachlan was born with the developmental disorder Angelman syndrome, as well as epilepsy and cerebral palsy. He is now the youngest in the state to die with COVID-19.
On New Year’s Eve, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance with a high fever and seizures.
Lachlan had shown symptoms of COVID-19 and was double-vaccinated, but was still waiting for a PCR test result when he was admitted.
Ms Moore said that when she asked the hospital staff for a quick antigen test, she was told they were reserved for patients who required intubation.
Lachlan was discharged from the hospital and recommended antibiotics, but died in his sleep at home eight hours later.
The next day, his PCR test results showed he was COVID-19 positive, but his death was formally listed as a cerebral hemorrhage.
“Lachlan had an X-ray taken showing an upper respiratory tract infection. Why did it not ring the doctor’s alarm bells?” said Mr. Moore.
“Why can we not give a $ 4 test to a patient who shows COVID symptoms? It’s not just about protecting Lachlan, it’s also about protecting staff.”
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the incident would be investigated by Queensland Health.
“I know the young man was suffering from underlying health conditions,” Ms D’Ath said.
“As for his death, it has been referred to the forensic pathologist.”
An internal investigation is currently underway and the Moore family will meet with Redcliffe Hospital directors tomorrow to discuss their complaint.
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“I do not want this to happen to anyone else, our little boy would still be alive,” Mrs. Moore said.