Parents of 4-year-old who unexpectedly died make heartbreaking plea to other parents

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 24, 2022 |

Photo: Supplied

The parents of Neil Sebastian Chua, “Sebby” are pleading with parents to make sure they push hard to medical staff for answers before it’s too late.

4-year-old Sebby died at 7:30 pm on September 26 in the Emergency Department at Wellington Regional Hospital after feeling unwell for days.

His parents first took him to a local clinic, where he was diagnosed with a virus and a sprained neck.

The following day, he complained he could taste blood when swallowing.

Photo: Supplied

His parents then took him to Kenepuru Community Hospital in Porirua at 4:40pm that afternoon.

But he remained unwell – and five days later Sebby rapidly declined.

The 4-year-old then complained of joint pain but was still eating and drinking.

The next morning, his parents noticed his arms and legs were swollen, so they went to the Wellington Hospital’s emergency department, where he died.

His father Neil Arvin Chua described Sebby as “full of energy, sweet, and eager to know you more.

He said the pathologist’s early opinion was his death was a result of complications of streptococcus pyogenes sepsis due to tonsillitis and pharyngitis with left parapharyngeal abscess.

Photo: Supplied

“To my fellow parents, life is short. Please relish your time with your kids. Always hug, kiss, and say I Love You to them every morning and before they go to sleep.

We did all these things to Sebby, and wish we had more time to keep doing them.

If your kid is unwell, please listen carefully and emphasise their complaints to the health care professional; never have second thoughts on asking how confident they are with their diagnosis if in doubt.

Please if your kids are sick, please ensure that the health professionals assess them properly.


Photo: Supplied

“Push them if you have to. We went to a doctor and his symptoms were treated as VIRAL – 4 days before he passed away.

He was already swollen when we brought him to the Emergency Department and he was there for 8 hours.

We came at 11am and he died in Emergency Department at around 7:30pm. Reminder for every parents, You know your kids better than anyone.”

Neil was in transit, en route to the Philippines, when he briefly spoke to Chris Lynch Media.

“Let us not stop until we ensure that this won’t happen again in the future. We don’t want this to happen again.”

A givealittle page has been set up to help his parents.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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