July 14, 2012 Staff Report
The untimely death of Sunnyside’s Rory Staunton has attracted world-wide media attention in recent days.
On Wednesday, The New York Times chronicled the 12 year old boy’s final days–from the time he scraped his elbow in gym class to the moments up to his death from septic shock four days later. The article made clear that all he needed was a shot of penicillin to be saved.
The Times story looked at many of the medical missteps along the way that played a role in his death. Since the publication of the article, the Staunton family has issued the following statement on rorystaunton.com
“Our beloved son Rory was the light of our lives. He should never have died. It is clear to us he did not receive the basic standard of care which would have saved him and which he, as an innocent child, above all, had a right to expect.
Our beloved boy is gone but we want to ensure that no other family experiences the utter heartbreak and grief we have because of such substandard care.
We believe Rory’s pediatrician ignored obvious signs of serious illness and sent him to NYU Emergency room for re hydration, giving us, his family, a diagnosis of acute febrile gastritis. NYU hospital and its Emergency Room were in turn extremely negligent in their treatment of Rory. Signs of serious illness were ignored and Rory was allowed leave the hospital desperately ill. Rory’s pediatrician continued the following day, despite our appeals, to dismiss our concerns. We believe NYU hospital and Rory’s pediatrician should acknowledge their negligent treatment of him to the Staunton family, treatment that we believe resulted in his death. They owe it to Rory and the children who will come after him, to ensure that this never happens again.
NYU Emergency Room sent a very ill child home. No discussion of vital statistics took place with the Staunton family. It was this lack of care and communication which resulted in Rory’s death and what we and our daughter Kathleen will live with every day of our lives. We have been handed a life sentence.
We want to see NYU Emergency Room establish clear failsafe procedures when a sick child enters their hospital. This would require them to have an experienced, qualified and identifiable professional in charge. NYU Emergency room should ensure that parents receive an explanation of their child’s blood test results while present in the hospital and a discussion on what are the potential illnesses his or her other symptoms might indicate. Those are three key areas that were never available to us and that cost Rory his life.
It is too late for Rory but we know above all he would want no other child to go through what he went through. For this reason we are working to enact Rory’s Law and we have met with the Governor’s Office, the State Health Commissioner and New York legislators to seek changes in City and State regulations to ensure no other child dies because of lack of proper medical treatment in a New York Emergency Room.
This will be Rory’s legacy.”