Toddler died on Christmas Day after falling ill

Anabelle Shapherd
Anabelle Shapherd
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AN inquest into the death of a toddler on Christmas Day last year has opened.

Anabelle Shepherd was 22 months old when she died at Southampton General Hospital, after having been transferred there from Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

The inquest, which will finish on Thursday, is seeking to find answers to questions over Anabelle’s treatment at QA.

She was admitted a month after receiving stem cell treatment for Hurlers Syndrome, a condition caused by an enzyme deficiency which leads to complex sugars building up in the tissues of the organs.

Anabelle received treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital to arrest the condition, but as part of it her immune system had to be repressed and she had to have a Hickman Line fitted to enable blood samples to be taken easily and medication administered swiftly.

But she fell unwell and her parents, Lee and Leanne Shepherd, of Bath Road, Southsea, took her to QA.

Doctors there treated her for sepsis, but administered antibiotics orally rather than through an intravenous line, which would mean the infection was treated more aggressively.

In a letter read out at the inquest, QA said: ‘We apologise for any deficiencies in care in this tragic case.’

The inquest continues.