A TRAGIC teenager who died from obesity was fed takeaways by his mum as they lay dying in a hospital bed.
The shocking revelation came to light in a scathing serious case review into the “sunny and friendly” 13-year-old’s death.
The probe uncovered “professional paralysis” by authorities in Manchester who hesitated in counting childhood obesity as a sign of abuse and neglect.
The Manchester Evening News reported that investigators also found that the kid’s mum shockingly blamed them for their weight and described them as a “donut”.
Despite being obese for a decade, the teenager enjoyed PE lessons but worried about their weight and died of a condition that was made worse by their obesity.
Medics ruled out providing the ill kid – known only as F1 – with a heart transplant because they were too fat.
The shocking investigation also found that the child’s mum brought them food on a number of occasions in hospital just weeks before their death.
The neglectful parent also did not take F1 to medical appointments.
The case review found: “Although all professionals in contact with Child F1 were aware of their morbid obesity, there was never a clear plan of action and neither an early help response; or an analysis of whether this was a safeguarding concern.”
The report detailed the child’s decade-long struggle with their weight which was found to have “contributed” to their cardiomyopathy heart condition.
Although all professionals in contact with Child F1 were aware of their morbid obesity, there was never a clear plan of action
Serious case review report
F1 already weighed more than 30kg by the age of just three and the case review found professionals were not proactive in trying to help them.
On one occasion, a nutritionist failed to discuss their fears about F1 and their sibling – who was also overweight – with their school or GP.
On another, the school nurse agreed to follow up concerns about F1’s weight with the GP, but this did not happen.
The report said that the child’s mum failed to bring the child to various health appointments even though F1 had raised their own anxieties about their weight.
It also added that the school encouraged the mother to allow F1 to walk to school with their friends.
It said: “They mapped out a route to school so F1 could meet friends along the way and avoid reported bullying. Mother was unhappy with school’s interference and undermined their approach by continuing to bring F1 to school by car.
Mother continued to blame Child F1 for not losing weight, saying they were lazy
Serious case review report
“Mother continued to blame Child F1 for not losing weight, saying they were lazy.”
Although F1 attended an additional diet, exercise and self-confidence programme at the school set up by a PE teacher – and which F1 asked the school to keep quiet from their mother – the report said that it became clear that F1 was having over 2000 calories before lunch, including a high-calorie takeaway as a second breakfast.
F1 – who was described in the report as having a ‘sunny and friendly disposition’ – had also told the school nurse they wanted to lose weight but found it hard.
In December 2014, the child went to the GP about a scalp problem but F1 also raised concerns about joint pain and asked if it was related to their weight. A second appointment was made to discuss it in detail but F1 didn’t attend.
The GP made no further referral to the paediatrician because of the previous non-attendance.
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After F1 died, criminal inquiries were started but no action was taken.
The case review found: “Professionals worked in isolation from each other, information was not always shared, and meetings were not held; and no holistic assessment undertaken.
“The complexity of the situation was not recognised and the longer the lack of serious action continued, the harder it was for professionals to consider or name this as a case of childhood neglect.”
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