Hospital probe as baby faces paralysis

A baby girl might be paralysed for life after doctors failed to diagnose her fractured spine following a car crash, her parents are claiming.

NSW Health has launched an investigation into the treatment of 21-month-old Lorelei Bellchambers who was sent home from Wyong Hospital without being scanned for serious damage after she was involved in a head-on car crash last Monday.

Two days later, her mother Elise Bellchambers called an ambulance after Lorelei continued to "scream in pain".

She was taken to Wyong Hospital before she was transferred to Gosford Hospital to be flown to The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Lorelei with her parents Elise and Ben.
Lorelei with her parents Elise and Ben.

Doctors put her in an induced coma for scans which revealed she had fractured her C1 and C2 vertebrae.

They have told her parents she could be facing corrective surgery which would permanently restrict her movement.

"This all could have been avoided if they just scanned (Lorelei) when she came in from a head-on crash," Mrs Bellchambers told 7News.

"It is scary to think our daughter might not have the movement she was born with and needs for the rest of her life. Wyong should have listened to us when we asked for her to be scanned.

"They gave me a scan but not my 21-month-old baby.'' Mrs Bellchambers, from Hamlyn Terrace, was driving Lorelei to daycare when their car was hit by a truck.

They were rushed to Wyong Hospital where Mrs Bellchambers was scanned for serious injuries.

Lorelei was not scanned and the pair was sent home. The following afternoon, Ms Bellchambers called triple-0 because her daughter had not moved all day, was not eating, drinking or playing.

She was also screaming every 20 minutes. It was only Mrs Bellchambers' actions which led to her being reassessed. She will be in a brace for six weeks and if her spine does not mend she will have to have corrective surgery to fuse her bones.

The parents said they had been contacted by the hospital and told an investigation into the treatment of Lorelei was under way.

Doctors failed to diagnose Lorelei with a broken neck.
Doctors failed to diagnose Lorelei with a broken neck.