Family wants answers after tragic death of little Jaiden

Family wants answers after tragic death of little Jaiden

3 August 2022

THE grieving family of a three-year-old Downpatrick boy who died shortly after going to hospital for a bad cough and chest are preparing for a long wait for unanswered questions surrounding his death.

Caylan Milligan said investigations into the death of his son Jaiden will continue until pathologists can determine what caused a fatal cardiac arrest after a second visit to hospital, following an initial diagnosis of a suspected nasal infection.

The mourning father said tests to determine the cause of the cardiac arrest could take up to six months or longer.

Caylan said that in the meantime, he and his partner Charlotte Curran — who have enlisted a solicitor to help them find the answers they so desperately seek — will take one day at a time, spending a period each day at Jaiden’s graveside at Struell cemetery.

The family are still reeling from the shock of Jaiden’s untimely death after bringing him to the Ulster Hospital’s A&E on Thursday, July 14, with what they said was just a “crackly” chest and a cough.

The couple were told by doctors that “it looks like a nasal infection” so they brought the youngster home, without any antibiotics being prescribed.

“We talked to a pharmacist and got nasal s and a steamer and got him Slush Puppies because he refused to drink anything at all and was unwell,” said Caylan.

Two days later they brought him back to the emergency unit and “that’s when they started doing all the tests”.

The couple were then given the chilling warning that if it wasn’t an infection, it could be his heart.

Doctors transferred the child to the paediatric intensive care unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. 

He was then placed in an induced coma to reduce the pressure on his heart before it was decided he should be sent to Dublin for specialist help. 

Three days after little Jaiden was presented at hospital for a cough, he died on Sunday, July 17, as an ambulance arrived to transport him to Dublin. He suffered a cardiac arrest. 

Medics began resuscitation as his terrified parents watched helplessly but those attempts failed. 

“It was something that attacked him and it took him so quickly,” said Caylan. 

He and Charlotte then spent their last moments with their son, wrapping him in his favourite pyjamas, a family blanket and giving him their final cuddles before he was taken to the morgue.

Jaiden was buried on July 23, shortly after the local community came together for a balloon launch in his memory.

Initial tests carried out during a postmortem found damage on the chambers of the child’s heart, but Caylan wants to know how doctors missed it on the first visit to A&E.

“If the heart was so badly damaged how could that be missed on the Thursday? When we did take him up they looked at him and sent him home with a nasal infection.

“If that had been caught on Thursday we believe our son would still be alive. We are both angry and we want answers.”

Caylan said that with the help of a solicitor he hopes to get answers.

“She’s going to be taking our case to do everything in her power to get some type of answer and justice for Jaiden.”

A spokeswoman for the South Eastern Trust said it would be investigating the case “fully”.

In a statement, the organisation said it would be in contact with Caylan and Charlotte as soon as the investigation was complete. 

“In the meantime we would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss any concerns the family may have surrounding Jaiden’s care and treatment,” the statement added.