By Lyonel Doherty
A coroner’s report into the death of a 19-year-old Oliver man in 2017 indicates meningitis was not the cause of his death, but his father still has many questions.
A recent report by coroner Margaret Janzen states that Aidan Quinn Hansen (formerly identified as Pratt) died of exsanguination due to a perforated ulcer. The coroner concluded that Hansen died of natural causes, therefore, made no recommendations.
But not long after his death in October of 2017, his father, Lee Pratt, disputed Interior Health’s handling of his son’s care and believed the cause of death was related to meningitis and the outbreak of the disease in the South Okanagan at that time. Nearly one month after Aidan’s death, Interior Health publicly confirmed two cases of the disease in students at Southern Okanagan Secondary School.
Pratt said he was initially told by a coroner that Aidan had meningitis, which is why he is surprised that it wasn’t mentioned in the report.
The investigation revealed that Aidan had gone to South Okanagan General Hospital on Sept. 21, 2017 complaining of abdominal pain. Apparently, there was an emergency and a physician would not be available for three hours.
“When Mr. Hansen’s name was called to complete the triage, he was no longer in the waiting room,” the report states.
It goes on to say that Aidan was assessed appropriately and communicated with in a timely manner.
The reports adds that it’s not unusual to have to wait three hours in hospital emergency rooms in B.C. and in Canada as a whole.
Aidan was seen by his family doctor on Sept. 27 and was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease. He was subscribed pantoprazole and told to return in a month.
“From the records reviewed there was nothing in this consultation that would have drawn a red flag and suggested the catastrophic outcome that subsequently occurred,” said Janzen.
She noted that a review of Aidan’s PharmaNet profile did not show that the prescription had been filled.
“Had the decedent taken pantoprazole when it was prescribed this may have led to a different outcome.”
On Oct. 12, emergency personnel were summoned to an Oliver residence where they found him deceased.
Pratt told the Chronicle that the 26-month investigation was only done to cover everyone’s ass at Interior Health, the hospital and the BC Coroners Service. He wonders how many lawyers vetted the report before it was released.
“Why the f—ck did they tell me my son had meningitis? The coroner said he had meningitis with an ulcer.”
Pratt said his doctor basically patted Aidan on the head and sent him out the door with a prescription without ordering tests.
Pratt noted he had the same pills at home, which is why they didn’t have the new prescription filled.
“I gave him (Aidan) the pills, but I don’t know if he took them.”
Pratt said he doesn’t dispute that Aidan died of a perforated ulcer, but wonders what these professionals were really investigating in an attempt to save their careers.
Pratt said their doctor actually told him to hire a lawyer. “When you’re grieving your son’s death the government wants to see if you’re pissed off enough to sue.”
The bitter father said it feels like his son was held accountable for his death. “But what about them?”
Pratt said he would love to see the inter-office emails that were sent regarding his son’s death. He noted that a conference call with the coroner and Interior Health could not be recorded.
Since the tragedy, Pratt and his wife split up and he’s considering moving to Costa Rica.
“We’re not letting this go. Our son deserved more. The kids in this community deserve more.”
Pratt said all of this could have been settled through no-fault insurance, where no one suffers repercussions and there are meaningful outcomes in the end.