Tuesday, 16 April 2024

    Teen dies after flu

    Harrison Creevey died just days after his 18th birthday, ABC News reports.

    He did not even have the chance to open his presents.

    His official cause of death was from an infection after complications with the flu, but his parents believe he was let down by the health system, which did not properly understand his disabilities.

    Matthew and Kim Creevey are now preparing a brief for the disability royal commission.

    “They saw a wheelchair and they assumed Harrison had no quality of life — they assumed that he was a burden on society, that we as his parents would want him to pass,” Ms Creevey said.

    “He didn’t have a hope.”

    The teenager’s death is one of dozens that have recently come to the attention of Queensland’s Public Advocate, who has called for an overhaul in the way people with a disability are treated in care, saying the situation is akin to a “health crisis”.

    Harrison was born healthy but at the age of three contracted Murray Valley encephalitis virus from a mosquito bite, which left him with a brain injury and ultimately spasticity quadriplegia.

    Mr Creevey said despite Harrison’s disabilities, his mind was still bright.

    “He was, at the time, using a liberator device similar to Stephen Hawking, which captured his eye movement and was able to determine where he was looking and then he was able to use alphabet boards and communication boards to create speech,” he said.

    The family said they had encountered issues with the medical profession before, but nothing prepared them for what happened in Harrison’s final days in September 2015.


    Disabled teen dies after flu complications, parents claim medical response inadequate (ABC News)


    Harrison Creevey was left with a brain injury after contracting Murray Valley encephalitis at the age of three. (Supplied: Creevey Family)