MISSING YOU: Rylee Ely hugs the photograph of her mother Rebecca back in 2012.
MISSING YOU: Rylee Ely hugs the photograph of her mother Rebecca back in 2012. Mike Knott

Million dollar payout for Bundy mum's death

RYLEE Ely was two when her mother died from a rare fungal infection at the age of 21.

While nothing could make up for the little Bundaberg girl's loss, the State Government has now agreed to pay more than $1 million, which will go towards her future care.

Rebecca Ely died in a Brisbane hospital in June 2012 after medical staff at Bundaberg Base Hospital allegedly failed to diagnose and treat her cryptococcal meningitis.

She had visited Bundaberg hospital's emergency department five times in a month.

Medical experts said in court documents that Ms Ely could have survived had the infection, usually caused by inhaled fungal spores, been treated with antifungal drugs.

You never expect your child to go to hospital and not come home, " Ms Ely's mother, Deborah Sutton, said after Rebecca's death.

Ms Sutton, who now cares for Rylee, sued Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service on behalf of her granddaughter, now seven, and the state agreed to pay $1,040,000.

A firm of trustees has been appointed to manage most of the money until Rylee turns 18.

 

MISSING YOU: Rebecca's daughter Rylee Ely hugs the photograph of her mother as the family look on back in 2012. Warwick Ely, Tianna Ely, Ashleigh Kitching-Ely and Trent Ely and in front Debbie Sutton.
MISSING YOU: Rebecca's daughter Rylee Ely hugs the photograph of her mother as the family look on back in 2012. Warwick Ely, Tianna Ely, Ashleigh Kitching-Ely and Trent Ely and in front Debbie Sutton. Mike Knott BUN050712REB4

Ms Ely had suffered weeks of headaches, as well as vomiting, nausea and dizziness, before she was diagnosed by a lumbar puncture about two days before her death.

An emergency medicine specialist wrote a report, filed in the Supreme Court, saying Ms Ely's diagnosis and treatment was delayed by 14 days.

If treatment had started before she became unconscious, Ms Ely would have survived, he said.

One Bundaberg emergency doctor diagnosed sinusitis, but also suggested in notes Ms Ely was making up or exaggerating her illness.

But the specialist said that flew in the face of Ms Ely's GP's concern about her having a potential cerebral infection.

Ms Ely first presented to the emergency department on May 19, 2012, complaining of dizziness, nausea and a throbbing headache, which she had had for five days, court documents reveal.

She returned to the hospital on June 4, 5, 9 and 18 after weeks of headaches.

Although she had a CT scan and brain MRI, medical experts reported she should have been referred to a neurologist and given a lumbar puncture earlier.

By June 19, 2012, she had lost consciousness and was having seizures.

On June 20, a critically ill Ms Ely's fungal infection was finally diagnosed after a lumbar puncture.

A day later, the young mother was transferred to a Brisbane hospital, where she died.

RELATED STORY: Young mother taken too soon


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