'I'm guilty because he is dead' - UUP MLA Doug Beattie breaks down on The Nolan Show talking about death of 18 month-old grandson Cameron
UUP MLA for Upper Bann, Doug Beattie, has said he feels "guilty" he didn't "do more" to ensure his 18 month-old grandson, Cameron, got the medical treatment he needed before his devastating death in 2016.
Mr. Beattie contacted BBC Radio Ulster programme, The Nolan Show, to discuss the announcement made by Health Minister Robin Swann yesterday that it could take up to 10 years to significantly address the issue of healthcare waiting lists in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Beattie explained to broadcaster Stephen Nolan that there is a history of severe epilepsy in his family.
"My 18 month-old grandson, Cameron, a boy with a beautiful smile, a real personality, took a seizure that lasted an hour and ten minutes," said Mr. Beattie emotionally.
"We took him to hospital, he got an MRI scan, was dealt with, finally recovered and was sent home with his parents with a note saying the NHS would call them for another MRI scan within 30 days.
"Cameron was on the waiting list for the MRI scan - the 30 days came and the 30 days went and then two months later the note finally arrived at the door of the house saying we are calling you forward for your MRI scan - that was on the day we buried him because he died in his sleep and we don't know why.
"He died waiting on the NHS and I believe had he had the scan within the 30 days he would still be alive today.
"I am really sorry if I sound emotional but for me as a grandfather I have a real guilt because as a grandfather, I did not push the NHS to act quicker, I didn't hold them as account.
"If I feel like this as a grandfather just imagine how young Cameron's parents feel.
"The guilt I felt was compounded because the day we buried Cameron was the day I was elected as an MLA."
Mr. Beattie said whilst both he and his family have not yet received a cause of death for little Cameron it is both his and family's belief that he would still be alive today had he had the MRI scan.
"This is not a slur on the doctors and nurses in the NHS in Northern Ireland - it's a slur on the system," explained Mr. Beattie.
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