Gracie Foster in the photo with her mother Michelle
The mother of a four-year-old girl who died of a meningococcal infection hours after being sent home from the hospital told a coroner: "I took her to die."
Gracie Foster entered the Chesterfield Royal Hospital in Derbyshire for an operation to remove the tonsils three years ago, but the surgery was canceled when she became ill in the ward, her mother, Michelle Foster, said in an investigation on Monday.
Miss Foster of Old Whittington, near Chesterfield, described how a consulting pediatrician told her that Gracie had a viral infection and sent her home.
But, in a matter of hours, her daughter got worse and was taken to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where she died the same day.
When giving evidence in an investigation in Chesterfield, Ms. Foster said that Gracie appeared to be well before the planned operation on October 21, 2015 and was excited that she was missing school and receiving treats at her grandmother's house after that the operation will end.
Once in the hospital, Miss Foster said, Gracie seemed happy in the play area of the room, but then she heard a "whimpering" noise from her daughter and found her sitting in the middle of the room.
She said that Gracie complained of a sore throat and "looked like she was sedated."
When she received premedication for her operation, Gracie vomited and a nurse discovered that it had a temperature of 40.1 degrees, said Ms. Foster.
She said that an anesthetist told her that they could no longer do the operation, but that she did not examine Gracie.
Once in the hospital, Ms. Foster said, Gracie (pictured) seemed happy in the pavilion's play area, but then she heard a "clink" from her daughter and found her sitting in the middle of the room
Miss Foster said that she then waited 90 minutes without anyone checking Gracie before the consulting pediatrician, Dr. Tim Ubhi, arrived.
She said that Dr. Ubhi looked at Gracie's tonsils but did not perform any other exam.
"The doctor said she did not need antibiotics, she had a viral infection, she needed acetaminophen and ibuprofen," she said.
Ms. Foster said that she was told to take her daughter home, but that she was "wasting her time" so much that she had to take her out of the hospital.
She said: "In retrospect, I feel really stupid to have trusted him, I thought she should be fine, I took her to die."
She said in the investigation: "No one was worried about her, apart from me, apparently."
Gracie (pictured) brought a letter home from school three weeks before her death informing parents that a child at school had meningitis
Miss Foster said she left Gracie at her mother's house, still thinking she had a minor virus.
But later he got a call from Gracie's grandmother who was worried and was taking her to A & E.
Ms. Foster said that the next call she received said "crashed" at Sheffield Children's Hospital.
"It was really weird to think that, in any way she was so poor, she's fine, she has a viral infection," she said.
The mother said that she received the "biggest blow of my life" when she arrived at the hospital and discovered that Gracie was "covered in tubes, with 10 people around her, completely covered by a violet rash".
She added: "She just did not look like her at all. I thought "how did this happen?"
The coroner heard how a post mortem examination discovered that Gracie died of Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome caused by a meningococcal infection.
She said that Gracie had brought a letter home from school three weeks before her death informing parents that a child at school had meningitis.
Ms. Foster said she had been worried about the young man involved, but was not worried about her daughter, as they had little contact.
And she told the coroner that the boy's condition was nothing like what happened to Gracie.
Before the investigation, Miss Foster said: "Gracie was full of life and a very happy girl who made everyone smile." She was a great artist, there was nothing she did not try, she was so adventurous.
The coroner heard how the students at Lenthall Nursery and Infant School in Dronfield had prepared a card for their friend's return from her operation.
The investigation will conclude on Friday.