A toddler died after being forced to wait three days for lifesaving surgery.
Hospital bosses have admitted blunders which led to the death of 20-month-old Kayden Urmston-Bancroft after an urgent operation to repair a hernia, or hole in his diaphragm, was delayed.
The youngster was admitted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after an X-ray showed that part of his bowel had burst through the hole, but he was still waiting for surgery three days later when he suffered a cardiac arrest.
It is thought it was caused by the organs squashed in his chest, putting too much pressure on his heart.
He was rushed to theatre, but tragically never regained consciousness and died shortly afterwards.
Kayden was born with the diaphragmatic hernia, but it was only diagnosed days before his death after an X-ray at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, where he was taken after falling and hurting his mouth.
He was kept there overnight before being transferred to Royal Manchester, where his mum, Shannon Bancroft, and grandmother, Julie Rowlands, said the problems began.
Julie, 44, a care coordinator for the elderly who lives with her daughter in Stockport, said: “All we were ever told was that other emergencies were coming in and taking Kayden’s place. We felt like he was just being left and he was in so much pain, we couldn’t leave his side.
"We were begging them to transfer him to somewhere that could do the operation, but they told us it wasn’t as easy as that. I said if they didn't then something would happen.
The real tragedy here is that Kayden’s death was entirely preventable. If he had been operated on earlier then he would have survived.
"After his cardiac arrest the doctors tried to bring him round, but he was without oxygen for almost half an hour. They took him to theatre, but I knew it was too late.
“It was four-and-a-half hours before they brought him back and they apologised there and then and said as a hospital they had failed him.”
Julie and Shannon, 20, who had split from but remained good friends with Kayden’s dad, Mark Urmston, had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support on April 17 last year.
Shannon, who still finds it difficult to talk about what happened, added: “All the family was there and my mum was reading him ‘Mr Men’ stories. I had Kayden put on my lap and then the ventilator tube was taken out.
“My mum knelt down at the side of me so that she could put her hand to his chest and feel his heart. My mum then told me that his heart had stopped beating and that he had passed away.”
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has since admitted there was an unacceptable delay in performing surgery to repair Kayden’s hernia which resulted in his death.
The Trust also recently settled a legal case brought against them by the family for an undisclosed, five-figure sum.
Stephen Clarkson, a clinical negligence specialist from Slater and Gordon, who represented the family, said: “The real tragedy here is that Kayden’s death was entirely preventable. If he had been operated on earlier then he would have survived.
“It is deeply concerning that this happened at one of the country’s leading hospitals for children and that is why it is so important that the Trust looks closely at what went wrong and what can be done to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else's child.”