Annabel Greenhalgh
Photo by Irwin Mitchell / SWNS

“A Gaping Hole in Our Lives” Parents Seek Answers After Daughter Dies Hours After Being Diagnosed with Constipation

The parents of an 11-year-old girl who died hours after doctors diagnosed her with constipation and sent her home are demanding answers.

Annabel Greenhalgh was taken to A&E at Warwick Hospital by her parents after she complained of abdominal pain. Doctors diagnosed her with constipation and discharged her on the evening of October 13, 2022.

The next morning, her father Craig found her unresponsive at their home in Warwick and dialed 999, told The Mirror. Despite paramedics’ attempts to resuscitate her, Annabel was pronounced dead at the scene.

Between 2017 and 2021, Annabel had experienced multiple episodes of severe abdominal pain and required hospital treatment on several occasions. An inquest into the popular schoolgirl’s death will start on Friday (14/6) at Coventry Coroners’ Court.

Ahead of the hearing, her heartbroken parents, Craig and Josie, spoke of the “gaping hole” Annabel’s death has left in their lives. Josie, 45, described Annabel as an incredible child who was loved by all who met her. “She was gentle, phenomenally bright, creative, fun, and always inclusive of everyone,” Josie said. “She absolutely loved her music, her fashion, her art, her friends, and her beloved cat Reuben. She was our greatest gift and brought so much love, joy, and happiness to our lives. Since losing her, much of our days have been filled with distress, emptiness, and sorrow”, via Daily Mail.

Annabel had just started Alcester Grammar School before her tragic death and was described as “well-loved” by teachers and pupils. Her parents hope the inquest will answer crucial questions about her treatment before she dies. Craig expressed their anguish, saying, “When we were told we could take Annabel home from the hospital, we trusted that there was nothing serious going on. To wake up the next morning and find her unresponsive was absolutely devastating and something we still struggle to comprehend.”

“Every day since then, we’ve wondered if more could have been done to save our little girl,” Craig continued. “She was our only child and we still have so many unanswered questions about what happened to her. We know that hearing everything again at the inquest will be incredibly difficult, but it’s something we need to do to honor our daughter and get the answers we’ve been seeking for more than 18 months.”

The family has instructed medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the tragedy. Their solicitor, Emma Rush, stated, “Josie and Craig understandably remain devastated at losing their little girl so suddenly and tragically. They also continue to have a number of questions over what happened to her.”

Rush emphasized the importance of the inquest in providing answers and potentially improving patient safety, adding, “While nothing can bring Annabel back, the inquest is a major milestone in being able to provide her family with the answers they deserve. If any issues in the care provided to Annabel are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety.”

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