In the days after his first operation Luke Glendenning endured five more surgeries to try and save his life but they were unsuccessful and his family eventually had to turn his life support off
A “fit and able” ten-year-old boy admitted to hospital with kidney stones tragically died 72 hours after a routine operation to remove them, an inquest heard.
Luke Glendenning’s family are struggling to come to terms with his death, the inquest heard, with a statement from his mum saying he has ‘left a massive hole in their lives’.
The youngster was “perfectly healthy” when he went in for surgery on November 6, 2017, but fatal complications meant he died just days later.
In the days after his first operation Luke endured five more surgeries to try and save his life but they were unsuccessful and his family eventually had to turn his life support off.
The hearing was told how doctors had difficulty accessing Luke’s left kidney, that a large amount of fluid emerged around his organs and that he suffered internal bleeding.
In a statement read out in court, his distraught mother Sue Hirst, 35, says she has “serious concerns” about “what should have been a routine procedure”.
Miss Hirst’s statement said: “We have serious concerns as a family, regarding the death of Luke.
“He was a fit and able young man who’s lost his life after what should have been a routine procedure.
“I cannot come to terms with the fact he has died. He was my only child.
“I miss him dearly, it has left a massive hole in our lives.”
Wakefield Coroners’ Court, West Yorkshire, also heard from Dr Nasim Tahir, a paediatric radiologist at Leeds Children’s Hospital, who oversaw the surgery on November 6, 2017.
Dr Tahir explained the operation involved inserting a camera into Luke’s kidney and then using a laser to break the stones down and remove them.
He said surgeons had to make six punctures into Luke’s kidney in order to create space for the camera but that ordinarily it would only take one.
Dr Tahir said: “There was no way of knowing for sure that we would encounter the difficulty that we did on the day.
“It’s not as if you can plan the whole procedure beforehand.”
Dr Tahir said there were discussions between himself and other doctors about whether the operation should have been aborted after five failed attempts at making a hole.
He added: “The decision to carry on was because we had already done the trickiest bits.
“I don’t think it was an excessive amount of punctures and there was nothing to indicate we were doing more harm than good.
“Even now I would do the exact same as what I did then.”
Towards the end of the five-hour operation, doctors noticed Luke was unable to maintain his own blood pressure, the court heard.
His legs had also gone pale and he had suffered a rectal prolapse and a distended abdomen, which means his stomach was severely swollen, doctors said.
He also had contracted compartment syndrome, a condition affecting the muscles which can result in death.
They told Miss Hirst and Luke’s father Richard Glendenning they could not remove all the stones because Luke had an abnormally formed kidney.
Scans revealed Luke had fluid on his lungs and in his chest and he underwent another surgery that evening to remove his left kidney.
Luke underwent his third operation in under 24 hours in the early hours of November 7, 2017, this time to try and drain some of the fluid from his body.
Following that operation the youngster’s extremities were cold and his skin was starting to turn yellow, according to a statement provided to the court by Miss Hirst.
Doctors were also struggling to find Luke’s pulse and he was taken back into theatre to remove packs that had been placed to drain the fluid, but which might have affected his breathing.
Following that operation he was taken into intensive care and placed on a machine that supported his heart and lungs.
However, Luke’s heart stopped beating and he underwent a sixth and final operation to try and restart it, after which he was placed on life support.
Miss Hirst, a neighbourhood team coordinator for Leeds Community NHS, and Mr Glendenning, a builder, had to call in family to say their goodbyes to Luke.
They switched the life support machine off on November 9.
Assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff, presiding over the inquest, said “the word tragic is probably too light” to be used in this case.
The inquest continues.