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Father: Doctors 'Failed' Girl Who Died Of TB
The father of a 15-year-old girl who died of tuberculosis has told her inquest how he called her GP "more than fifty times" and took her to four hospitals - but her condition wasn't diagnosed.
Birmingham Coroner's Court heard how Alina Sarag had already tested positive for TB in 2009 when another child at her school got the disease.
She was given antibiotics and her father, Sultan, said he was told she had 'dormant TB'.
But in August 2010, after returning from a holiday in Pakistan, Alina fell ill.
Mr Sarag said a GP diagnosed her with 'travellers' diarrhoea' but three days later she was no better and was referred to Heartlands Hospital for blood, urine and pregnancy tests.
Her father was in tears as the coroner read out his statement.
Mr Sarag described how Alina's condition deteriorated over four and a half months.
He said she was vomiting up to 10 times a day, had to be carried to bed and "was like an old woman with weak legs."
She lost weight and at one point asked for baby food as it was all she could tolerate, he said. "It was like having a new born baby," he added.
Despite numerous visits to Alina's GP, and making more than 50 phone calls to their reception - sometimes up to three times a day - Mr Sarag said his calls were never returned.
He said that as well as Heartlands Hospital, Alina was either referred to, or he took her to, Birmingham City Hospital, Birmingham Children's Hospital and Sandwell Hospital in the Black Country.
He said he made various healthcare professionals aware of her previous positive TB test.
Mr Sarag said he was told on different occasions that Alina had a chest infection, a viral infection, and her GP suggested she might be "lovesick' for a boy she had met in Pakistan.
He was also told she was worried her father, who is separated from her mother, might leave and that her illness was "in her head", and she was doing it for her father's "affection and attention".
Mr Sarag said the GP told him: "If you're not happy with me, go and find another doctor".
In January 2011, Alina had trouble breathing, her father called 999 and Alina was taken to hospital where she suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
A post mortem examination showed she had died of TB.
Mr Sarag said Alina had been "bubbly and outgoing", had lots of friends and that the family had been "devastated" by her death.
The inquest is expected to hear from 20 witnesses and last around six days.