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WA parents demand answers over baby death

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016

The grieving parents of a seven-month-old boy who died after being sent home from two Perth hospitals and a GP clinic are demanding answers.

Malakai Matui Paraone became ill on Monday last week with a fever and rash and had difficulty moving his right side.

Over the next few days, he was taken to Midland Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital but was sent home both times. His parents say a GP also told them Malakai had a virus and there was nothing that could be done.

He was rushed to PMH again on Thursday and placed in intensive care before his life support was turned off on Friday.

"I was hoping that when it turned off that his heart would still be beating," his mother Nicole Thompson told Nine News.

"I am going to fight this to the end. My son was strong for four days. I'm going to be strong for him and I'm going to get the justice he deserves."

A gofundme page set up by Ms Thompson said her "precious boy" was taken suddenly by meningococcal disease, an acute bacterial infection that is fatal if not treated quickly.

By Tuesday afternoon more than $13,700 had been raised in less than a day.

In a statement, PMH acting executive director Michelle Dillon said she could not provide details about the treatment of individual patients but extended her "deepest sympathies" to the family.

Health Minister John Day said the case had been referred to the coroner, while a full clinical review was being done by PMH and he had requested a report.

"It's a terribly sad case and I very much extend my deep sympathies to his family, it's a parent's worst nightmare really," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr Day said it was clear there seemed to be a misdiagnosis but all the circumstances were still unknown.

Opposition health spokesman Roger Cook also expressed "extreme sorrow and sadness" at Malakai's death.

"We need to get to the bottom of what's gone wrong here," he told reporters.

"Clearly this family feels, and has good reason to feel, that they've been let down by the health system."

Friends and strangers touched by Malakai's story have shared tributes on gofundme.

Melony Darroch wrote: "I hope you get the answers you need ... I'm tired of mums being turned away and being made to feel like you're over reacting. We know our children and when something is not right!"

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