Medics ‘failed’ child with deadly tumour

Rhiley Kim Bennett
Rhiley Kim Bennett

The mum of a “little princess” who passed away from a rare cancer has slammed MK Hospital and the Urgent Care Centre for ignoring her pleas for help.

Little Rhiley Kim Bennett suddenly became ill and unable to stand up just after her second birthday.

Worried mum Kim took her to the city’s Urgent Care Centre three times and was twice referred to the hospital’s ward 4.

But each time she was sent home with antibiotics for a suspected infection or told it was a virus.

Eventually Kim staged a sit in on Ward 4 until doctors agreed to admit her daughter,.

“I knew something was wrong. My little girl was losing the use of her legs and screaming in agony. I begged them to scan her to find the problem,” said the 27-year-old.

She said Rhiley suffered for three weeks and three days before medics agreed to an MRI.

The scan revealed a deadly 7cm tumour on her spine.

And the cancer proved to be AT/RT, one of the rarest and most aggressive in the UK.

Kim said: “By the time the MRI was carried out the cancer had spread through Rhiley’s system, both on her brain and spine.

“We will always be asking ourselves if the outcome would be different if she had been scanned earlier.”

Rhiley lost her fight for life on April 23, cuddled up in her parents’ arms at her Great Linford home. It was two weeks after her third birthday.

“No way was I going to let our little princess pass away at the hospital after all she had been through there,” said Kim.

Rhiley visited MK hospital regularly for chemo and other treatments during her illness. Kim has now submitted a catalogue of complaints about her care during this period.

She and her husband Ritchie, who have a four-year-old daughter Lily, have now vowed to fight to improve care for other sick children. They have set up JustGiving and Facebook pages called Rhiley’s Smile to raise funds for young cancer victims.

The Urgent Care Centre, though on the hospital site, is run by the city’s Clinical Commissioning Group.

The CCG and the MK hospital Trust will now both investigate Kim’s complaints.

A hospital spokesman described the case as “tragic”. They vowed to deal directly with the family to ensure the case was managed “clinically appropriately”.