A MOTHER sobbed as she described the final words of her severely disabled son who died suddenly from anaphylactic shock following an adverse reaction to an antibiotic.

Michelle Barker said son Liam, who had been on a ventilator since birth after being diagnosed with an extremely rare muscle wasting condition, centronuclear myopathy, said “Dad, dad, dad” before he was gone.

The family claim an error with the use of a home ventilation system supplied by the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) – part of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – led to his death at his home in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, on August 11, 2016.

The 22-year-old needed permanent tracheostomy ventilation and had also been given the drug Colomycin by nurse practitioner Alison Armstrong via a nebuliser.

But an incorrect filter, which unexpectedly incorporated a one-way valve, had been applied to the equipment administering the antibiotic.

Mrs Barker said an alarm on the ventilator went off soon as the nebuliser was switched on.

She said: “I could see the fear in my son’s eye and he just said ‘Dad, dad, dad’, and that was it he was gone.”

The mum-of-four added: “Liam wasn’t a sickly person even though he was on a ventilator, he had a condition which we and our care team dealt with day in day out to keep him safe.

“He had a gorgeous personality, always had a big smile on his face. As much as he couldn’t talk he communicated with everybody.

“He had been brilliant that week, we had him out everyday and he had been so happy and smiley. “This has left such a massive void.”

Liam’s dad Phil, from Eston, near Middlesbrough, told an inquest at Middlesbrough Town Hall that his son had received quality care over the years, but there had been a “tragic mistake”.

He said: “We just need the truth. There are no winners or losers in this situation.”

“This doesn’t help us or Liam, it will help somebody else so they don’t have to go through what we have done.

Dr Robert Bullock, a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care at the RVI, said: “He [Liam] was given Colomycin and suffered a state of shock which was irrecoverable and very sadly died.

“I believe the most likely plausible explanation is anaphylaxis.”

Dr Bullock said the question of the filter was “completely irrelevant”, adding: “It is a very tragic occurrence, a very rare occurrence, but these drugs do have dangers.”

Dr Karen Beecham, an assistant medical director for patient safety and quality at the hospital trust, was tasked with conducting an internal review into events in order to identify any lessons learned.

She said the Colomycin had been appropriately prescribed, but admitted there had been issues around the equipment used.

Dr Beecham said any clinical governance of the home ventilation service had been “more informal” prior to Liam’s death, but it had now been made more robust.

She said before the proposed introduction of any equipment or modifications it had to be discussed and tested at a monthly multi-disciplinary meeting involving at least two doctors and two nurses.

Dr Beecham was asked by the family’s solicitor Gemma McGungle if it had been appropriate for Ms Armstrong to take the decisions she did on her own without support.

She said the nurse was very experienced in the use of home ventilators and also lectured at a national level.

She said: “In my view given this was a filter that nobody had knowledge of with this machine…it should have been tested prior to the administration [of the drug].

“But I did not have that hindsight and Alison Armstrong did not have hindsight of that knowledge at that time.”

Teesside assistant coroner Karin Welsh is expected to reveal her findings on Thursday and the inquest continues.