IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Six months on, mother still waiting to see report on son’s basketball accident death

‘It’s strange and this delay is disrespectful to Brian and ourselves... they have just let us down’’

03 August, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Parents Carlotta Jose and Jeff Mpunga with a photograph of Brian

A MOTHER has been left in the dark after a six-month wait to see an independent report into the death of her son following a freak basketball court accident.

Brian Mpunga, a 15-year-old star pupil at St Aloysius’ College, in Archway, died in hospital after being hurt while warming up to play at the Sobell Centre last December.

The former prefect, who lived in Highbury Quadrant, hit his head and his parents say he fell unconscious for a short period of time. His father took him to University College Hospital and ­Brian was later transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where he died 11 days later on December 21.

UCH said they asked a consultant from another hospital to investigate ­Brian’s death in February but say they have not received the report “des­pite frequent re­quests”.

His mother, Carlotta Jose, told the Tribune that her family cannot begin to move on until her questions about Brian’s treatment at the two hospitals are answered.

She said: “They are not sympathetic towards us. If they were they would have answered us by now. I only found out the report was delayed when I called the hospital, they are treating me like I’m a fool. Without Brian our life is shattered, we have become walking corpses.”

Brian Mpunga was injured while warming up to play at the Sobell Centre last December

University College London Hospital NHS foundation trust, the organisation that manages the hospital, say they have now asked a second investigator to look into Brian’s death and have apologised for the further distress caused.

Ms Jose said: “It’s very strange and this delay is disrespectful to Brian and ourselves. My health is deteriorating because of all the things the hospital are putting us through. They have just let us down.”

As reported in the Tribune earlier this year, ­Brian’s family believe he may still be alive had a CT scan been performed on him sooner to detect a bleed in his brain. They had to wait more than five hours for a scan while Brian fought to keep awake and appeared to be suffering from memory loss. They also have ­further questions about Brian’s treatment, including why he was moved to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The cause of death was given as a large aneurysm in one of the main blood vessels, resulting in a brain bleed.

A spokeswoman for UCH said: “We are investigating Brian Mpunga’s care under our learning from deaths policy. We appointed an independent investigator to review this case in February 2018.

“Despite frequent requests for a report, one has not been produced and we have had to ask a second investigator to conduct the review. We regret that this delay is compounding the family’s understandable distress, but we are determined to obtain an independent expert review of Brian’s care.

“We are planning to be able to share the report with the family by the end of September 2018.”

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