Mitcham mum backs St Helier hospital after meningitis scare

Hospital support: Pamela Soopramanien with daughter Kiara Pearl Youde, six, and son Leo Ringo Youde, four

Hospital support: Pamela Soopramanien with daughter Kiara Pearl Youde, six, and son Leo Ringo Youde, four Buy this photo

First published in News by

A mother whose daughter was saved after contracting meningitis is appealing for St Helier Hospital’s maternity ward to be saved.

Two weeks after her first child was born in May 2006, Pamela Soopramanien, 26, of Orchard Avenue, Mitcham, was shocked to be told her baby had meningitis.

Her daughter Kiara was immediately admitted to Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children. Mrs Soopramanien stayed with Kiara for more than a month as she was treated.

She said: “Because she was so tiny, and she was so poorly as well, they couldn’t tell and it took three days, three critical days, to see whether she’d make it.

“She did. She’s a little fighter, and she made it.”

Mrs Soopramanien said a GP failed to diagnose Kiara’s symptoms correctly, but she credits the St Helier Hospital staff and her own maternal instincts for Kiara’s recovery.

She said: “The staff, the team, everybody was just amazing.

“They were great, understanding people and the doctors were just brilliant, they attended to Kiara pretty much straight away.”

The Better Services Better Value review proposed closing St Helier Hospital’s maternity and accident and emergency departments.

A three-month consultation period is set to begin on November 1.

If approved, St George’s Hospital in Tooting would be the closest ward for many expectant parents.

Mrs Soopramanien said: “I was on my own with my sick child. If St Helier wasn’t there, I would have had to go all the way to St George’s.

“St Helier is just next door.

“If anything’s bothering you about your child, or an emergency, you don’t want to be thinking about traffic.”

Her four-year-old son, Leo, was admitted to St George’s burns unit about three years ago and Mrs Soopramanien said it made her appreciate the hassle of getting there.

She said: “I’ve experienced it both ways, and this is why I feel strongly about this – they shouldn’t close down St Helier.”


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