Leeds parents' heartbreak over baby son's brain condition

The dad of a five-month-old baby boy from Leeds who has an abscess and cysts on his brain has spoken of his family's ordeal.

By Mark Lavery
Monday, 11th October 2021, 11:45 am
Carson Murgatroyd

Photo: Simon Hulme
Carson Murgatroyd Photo: Simon Hulme

Jordan Murgatroyd of Harehills said it is heartbreaking to hear his son Carson screaming in the night when he suffers seizures.

Jordan said he and Carson's mum Tiffany Sharlotte believe Carson's condition was caused by an infection related to a fetal scalp electrode used during his birth at St James's Hospital on May 13.

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Carson Murgatroyd pictured during treatment in hospital

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said fetal scalp electrodes are used routinely in maternity care and complications from them are "extremely rare."

Jordan said a mark made by the electrode on Carson's scalp was still visible six weeks after birth.

"It was probably the size of a 5p and it was scabbing and it had gone a little green," Jordan said.

The couple became increasingly concerned when Carson developed a number of bulging veins on his head.

Carson Murgatroyd

On July 9 they took him to see their GP and Carson was referred to the neurology department at Leeds General Infirmary.

Carson had a CT scan, which revealed an abscess on his brain.

"It was just shock and confusion because he seemed so healthy. He was laughing and just like a normal baby," Jordan said.

"For it all to then go so wrong was just a massive shock to the system."

A photo of the bulging vein's on baby Carson Murgatroyd's head around six weeks after he was born.

Carson underwent surgery to remove abscess fluid from his brain.

Jordan said Carson spent six weeks in hospital and underwent surgery on three further occasions to remove abscess fluid from his brain.

After six weeks Jordan said the family was hoping Carson would be allowed home, but an MRI scan showed the abscess had got bigger and there were also a number of cysts on his brain.

Carson - who has a 17-month-old sister called Ayla and a brother Bilal, aged nine - had to undergo further surgery to remove more abscess fluid and spent a further two weeks in hospital.

Jordan said: "They have told us he has got permanent brain damage.

"He has suffered seizures during the night. He can just start screaming.

"It is awful. You can't really do anything. We can't take the pain away from him.

"I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy what we are going through now.

"There is a pain there that you wouldn't think existed until you have kids of your own."

Jordan said Carson will have to undergo an MRI scan every two weeks.

He said the NHS has advised against surgery to remove the abcesses and cysts until Carson is around 12 months old.

The family is investigating the possibility of Carson being treated privately and has launched a crowdfunding campaign.

The gofundme appeal called 'Urgent surgery and treatment for Carson' has so far raised more than £14,000 towards a £20,000 target.

Jordan said money raised will also go towards paying for physiotherapy treatment.

Jordan said: "We want the abcesses and cysts removing.

"They said had Carson been older that is something they would have done, but because he is so young and his brain is not fully formed they want to wait until at least 12 months.

"But in eight months there is going to be more damage surely. We are looking at getting private treatment."

"We don't want to wait around for that long with this just eating away at him."

Dr Phil Wood , chief medical officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We appreciate that this is a distressing time for Carson’s parents.

"Fetal scalp electrodes are used routinely in maternity care and complications from them are extremely rare.

"The details of Carson’s birth are being reviewed by the maternity team, which will be shared with his parents.

"Our clinical team at Leeds Children’s Hospital will work with Carson’s parents to ensure he continues to receive the best possible care.

"At the parent’s request we have sought a second opinion from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children which has confirmed that our team is offering the most appropriate treatment."

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