A mother has described how her seven-week-old baby was left fighting for his life after a GP dismissed his symptoms twice.
Courtney Nixon, 27, from Fernwood, Nottingham, grew increasingly concerned for her son Colton Weir, after the infant started vomiting up every feed, and his breathing became laboured.
The mother-of-five took baby Colton to her local GP surgery, Balderton Primary Care Centre, on September 13 after he had been unable to keep milk down for almost 48 hours.
But she was sent home after being told that there was nothing wrong with her son, and that his breathing was just ‘normal’ newborn breathing.
Courtney Nixon, 27, from Fernwood, Nottingham, took her seven-week-old to her local GP surgery, Balderton Primary Care Centre after was unable to keep milk down
Colton spent more than 48 hours on oxygen in ICU, with doctors even talking about intubating and ventilating the baby boy
When Colton stopped feeding altogether the next day, Ms Nixon returned to the GP surgery, where she was told the baby was just dehydrated, and to take him to nearby hospital Queens Medical Centre.
But when they arrived at the hospital, an oxygen check showed Colton’s oxygen levels plummeting down and her baby was diagnosed with bronchitis.
Colton spent over 48 hours on oxygen in ICU, with doctors even talking about intubating and ventilating the baby boy.
Ms Nixon said: ‘They told me at the hospital that if I had not taken him in when I did, he would not have made it through the afternoon.
‘And it would have been registered as a cot death, because the GP had failed to pick up on what was wrong with him.
‘The hospital was just expecting a child that was dehydrated, not critically ill.
‘He kept having apnoea, where he would stop breathing for a few seconds and go all grey and floppy.
‘Within an hour of arriving at hospital he was in ICU, where he was put on high-pressure oxygen for three days.
‘And yet the GP told me before we went to hospital not to pack a bag, as we would be in and out in a few hours.’
Now Ms Nixon, who has three other sons aged nine, five and two, as well as a four-year-old daughter, is urging GP surgeries to carry out oxygen tests on children as a matter of course.
She said: ‘If they had done an oxygen test when I first took him in on Monday morning, he wouldn’t have ended up in ICU the next day.
‘As a mother to four other children, I knew that my baby’s symptoms weren’t normal and that was something wrong.
‘As a parent, you know your child best, and you shouldn’t be afraid to push the doctors if you feel they’re not right.
Ms Nixon is now urging GP surgeries across the country to carry out oxygen tests on children
Within an hour of arriving at hospital the infant was placed in ICU where he was put on high-pressure oxygen
Colton was finally able to return home on September 18 and is now breathing normally again
‘They need to listen to the parents. That is a baby’s life you’re talking about – and at the end of the day, he was only seven weeks old, it’s not like he can speak up for himself.’
The mother first became worried about Colton on September 11, when he developed a chesty cough – after her two-year-old son had recently been diagnosed with bronchitis.
She said: ‘That’s when I knew something probably wasn’t right. But then he started to go off his feed.
‘He was on 5oz bottles at that point, but he started only drinking 2oz of that, and then vomiting it back up.
‘This went on all weekend, so on Monday morning I took him to the GP.
‘They literally Googled his symptoms in front of me, and then said it was probably a viral infection and he would be fine.
‘I couldn’t believe it. I could have Googled his symptoms at home, you’d expect them to know a bit more than that.
‘I said he was struggling to breathe, but the GP told me that it was just normal newborn breathing.
‘But the following day, Colton’s breathing was still laboured, and he had stopped feeding altogether.
‘So I took him back to the GP surgery, and they said to take him to Queens Medical Centre for dehydration. Within an hour of arriving there, he was in ICU.’
The mother added: ‘They were talking about intubating and ventilating him and all sorts.
‘Luckily they didn’t have to do that in the end, because they put him on a high-pressure oxygen machine, which kept his lungs open to allow air in.
‘But it was so horrible seeing him like that.’
Colton was finally able to return home on September 18, a week after the ordeal began – and is now breathing normally again.
But Ms Nixon has slammed Balderton Primary Care Centre for allowing her son to end up in a critical condition.
She said: ‘I spoke to a senior doctor who said they would be making some changes and would make sure they had the right monitors to carry out oxygen tests on children.’
MailOnline has contacted Balderton Primary Care Centre for comment.