Advising with empathy and experience

Cornwall schoolgirl died of rare lung condition.

The GP for a seven-year-old girl who died unexpectedly has said that he never heard of the rare lung condition responsible, an inquest has heard.

Esmee Polmear collapsed at Perranporth School and later died at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, in July 2015.

The following October, a post-mortem revealed she had been suffering from the rare pulmonary veno-occlusive disease which affects about one in ten million people.

Her GP, Dr Robert White, of St Agnes Surgery, told the hearing he had never come across the condition in his career and the inquest, in Truro, ruled that Esmee died of natural causes.

Dr White told coroner, Dr Emma Carlyon, that an oxygen saturation test would not have necessarily have picked up low levels of oxygen as Esmee often looked pink and well when at the surgery.

A consultant paediatrician, Professor Peter Fleming, who investigated the case, said the disease was so rare he had only seen it twice in 40 years.

Her parents said doctors told them not to worry about Esmee's health in the two years leading up to her death.

Teacher Eleanor Smitheram, from Perranporth School, said she was told by Esmee's parents there was nothing physically wrong with Esmee but her breathlessness worsened over time.

Speaking about the day of her death she said: "She rested her head on my shoulder which was unusual as she didn't like to be touched when she was struggling to breathe. Her head then lulled back and she appeared to have a seizure."






The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.