Girl, 13, dies one day after getting cancer diagnosis

Kelly Baverstock


Tanisha Baverstock was “skin and bone” by the time she was correctly diagnosed, her mother said

A girl died of cancer a day after being diagnosed, her mother has said.

Kelly Baverstock said daughter Tanisha, 13, was “skin and bone” and “barely able to lift her head” but Salisbury District Hospital said she had a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics.

The next day, she took her to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and after a five-hour wait Tanisha was diagnosed with cancer. She died within 24 hours.

Both hospitals said they were unable to comment on individual cases.

The teenager, from Calne in Wiltshire, had been coughing for a few weeks when she was seen by a GP in mid-January and again on 25 January and prescribed antibiotics.

“She started losing weight, was getting out of breath at school and was getting weaker and weaker,” mother-of-nine Ms Baverstock said.

“But on both the doctor’s visits she was not taken seriously and fobbed off with antibiotics with no real effort of diagnosis or urgency.”

Kelly Baverstock


The teenager appeared with relatives on their YouTube channel the Baverstock Family

Kelly Baverstock


In a letter to Ms Baverstock, Salisbury District Hospital admitted there had been a “muddle in referrals”

A week later, she found out her daughter had a “blood infection” and was given an outpatients appointment at Salisbury District Hospital.

Despite being told the teenager’s chest X-ray showed “changes to her lungs”, the hospital sent them home with antibiotics and told them to come back in four weeks.

But the following morning, hospital staff called saying they had reviewed the X-rays and found “something really nasty growing in her lungs”.

With her head “spinning” Ms Baverstock said she tried repeatedly to get hold of her doctor and finally gave up and “took a chance” and drove her daughter to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

‘Riddled with it’

“She was being really brave but she was in the last stages of dying; she couldn’t hold up her head and her fingernails were going purple,” she said.

“But they treated her like a normal A&E patient – she just sat there for hours.”

Five hours later, following a further X-ray, she was told her daughter had cancer. Tanisha died the next day.

“She was riddled with it – all in her chest and her heart – and she was only breathing from one lung,” Ms Baverstock said.

“I don’t know what to say or do. I went in with her and came out without her.

“I feel that the hospitals, doctors and those that I placed Tanisha in the care of have failed and been negligent and failed to do their jobs correctly.”

In a letter given to Ms Baverstock, Salisbury District Hospital admitted there had been a “muddle in referrals” but it was because the family had recently moved from Salisbury to Calne.

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children said in a statement that it was unable to comment on individual cases “due to patient confidentiality”.

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