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By Michael Yong
08:25, 20 APR 2018 Updated 07:24, 21 APR 2018
We will have the latest from the inquest of Thomas Oliver McGowan, day by day
A five-day inquest has started into the death of Bristol boy Thomas Oliver McGowan, who was only 18 years old when he died.
Known as Oliver to his family and friends, the young man from Emersons Green was taken to Southmead Hospital after he suffered simple partial seizures on October 22, 2016.
Sadly, complications in his care at the hospital meant Oliver never left, and his condition deteriorated.
His life-support machine was switched off on November 7, and the much-loved young man died on Armistice Day, November 11.
The inquest will call witnesses to take the stand, and will include family and medical staff involved in Oliver’s care.
It will look at what happened to Oliver when he was taken to the hospital by ambulance and his treatment in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Oliver had mild autism, epilepsy and learning difficulties after getting meningitis at three weeks old.
Among the key points to be explored is why Oliver was given anti-psychotic medication Olanzapine, despite protests from his parents and himself.
There will also be questions about restrain, and any alternative methods to manage Oliver’s behaviour.
The hearing at Avon Coroners Court is expected to end on Friday, and we will have the latest from everyday here.
This page will be updated every day for the latest on the case.
Day zero (Image: Family)
Oliver’s family told us ahead of the inquest how Oliver had always been a boy to fight against the odds.
When doctors told his parents as a baby he would not survive, he did. When he suffered two episodes of meningitis, he fought through.
And even if it left him with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and mild autism, he did not let his disabilities hold him back.
He went to Culverhill School in Yate and was hugely popular with his peers. A talented sportsman, he always had a ball (and the world) at his feet.
Here is the full tribute
Day one (Image: Family)
After hearing short statements of ID and from Oliver’s GP, Thomas McGowan – Oliver’s dad – took the stand.
He gave a heartbreaking account of how doctors “arrogance” had led to his son’s death. The court is also told about Oliver and his parents’ protests against anti-psychotic medication.
But unknown to his parents, it had already been prescribed to Oliver. The parents only found out after speaking to a nurse.
Full story here
We also heard that Oliver was “very scared and agitated” when he came to Southmead because of the police officers, security guards, nurses and doctors all asking him questions at the same time.
The young man had to be restrained by police officers, and the court was told Oliver might have been thrown onto a hospital bed. Doctors and family raised concerns about the treatment.
Day two (Image: Family)
We hear from Dr Howard Faulkner, the consultant neurologist, and Dr David Campbell, a consultant in Intensive Care Medicine.
The court hears how Oliver developed Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) which was caused by the anti-psychotic drug Olanzapine. His temperature spiked and his brain swelled until it was coming out of the base of his skull.
There was no chance of a “meaningful recovery”, doctors said.
The court was also shown a still from a video which showed how Oliver had reacted previously when he was given an anti-psychotic.
Day three, Wednesday
Day three (Image: Family)
The doctor who prescribed Olanzapine, Dr Monica Mohan, takes the stand. The neuropsychiatrist explained she had done so because she believed it was in Oliver’s “best interests”.
But when she found out it had led to NMS and his brain injury she said she was “sorry” to Oliver’s mum.
When questioned at the inquest if she would do it again, she said she would because she believed it was the right thing to do.
Here is her account of what happened , and why the family disagreed.
Day four, Thursday
Thomas Oliver McGowan (Image: Family)
Two independent experts took to the stand on Thursday. Dr Nigel Langford, a consultant in clinical pharmacology, told the court it was “possible” Oliver was still here if Olanzapine had not been prescribed.
The pathologist, Dr Russell Delaney, said Olanzapine caused NMS which was a “significant contributory factor” in Oliver’s death.
The family shared a heartbreaking video of Oliver suffering from seizures while intubated in his hospital bed.
Here is the full story.
Day five, Friday
oliver was 18 at the time (Image: Family)
In his conclusion, assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said doctors did the right thing in prescribing the medication which eventually led to Oliver’s death.
Olanzapine caused NMS, which eventually caused the brain injury which killed Oliver. The coroner also said pneumonia played a part in Oliver’s death.
You can read his conclusion here.
After the inquest, Oliver’s family said they felt the coroner was “ferociously protective” of the doctors and that they were “extremely disappointed” with his conclusion.
They said they had wished the doctors would learn from their mistakes, but they were “arrogant and dismissive” of Oliver’s needs.