Event Sponsorship – Why We Have The Big Bear Fest
The Big Bear Fest is coming home to Braintree and as such will have a huge market appeal for local people. However, there is much more to this and a very important message that we need to get over to as many people as possible.
The festival is primarily about celebrating the life of Sam Bearman who was tragically taken in 2011 when struck down by meningitis at the age of 24. It is also dedicated to raising awareness of this killer disease amongst an age group that many believe to be safe.
Finally, and as importantly, it tells the story of how Sam never had any of the classic signs as parents we are focused on looking for and how as responsible parents we were ignored by those professionals we seek help from in times of emergency.
We cannot stress enough that as a parent, however old your child – you know when he or she is not right and by being aware of this and demanding action you will not have to face the daily torment we will have till the day we die.
Despite being in our care during his last few days Sam’s treatment by the NHS was horrendous:
- Told by a doctor he didn’t need to go to hospital
- Treated by ambulance staff as if he was on drugs or drunk
- Threatened with security at hospital
Our story starts just after the New Year. We were all excited as I was due to fly to Munich on the 06th January to start a new career. I was to fly out then and Cindy, Nathan and Sam if he wanted as I had offered him some work out there which Sam liked the sound of , were going to follow over the next few months.
However, the 06th January turned out to be the end of our life instead of the beginning…
Sam had came home after a night out complaining of pains in his legs. Cindy gave him some paracetamol, sat talking to him for a while and he finally got some sleep.
He was feeling no better the next day and Cindy was worried. Sam was never ill, never went to the doctors and never made a fuss. So after several phone calls to the out of hours service which decided Sam was not a priority at first , Cindy got an appointment at The Braintree Community Hospital for Sam to see a doctor.
By now Sam was getting worse, and being sick. Cindy went to the doctor’s appointment with Sam along with his dad Dane. Cindy went into the appointment with Sam to speak to the doctor and told the doctor that she thought Sam should go to hospital. The doctor disagreed, and said, it was only a virus and they would definitely not want him there and would send him home after maybe hydrating him which we could do at home.. Cindy, reiterated that she wasn’t happy with this but she trusted his judgment.
The doctor gave Sam an anti sickness injection and some re hydration powders and said if he didn’t start urinating in 6 hours then to go back.
Sam did seem to improve. He went to the toilet within the time scale and also completely stopped being sick. He even had a little food and half a growler. This was to be short lived though. On the Tuesday evening, Sam started to feel weaker and was getting a bad headache – Cindy gave him more paracetamol which was doing nothing for his bad head ache. She even got into bed with him for a short while to watch him and finally decided that something was very wrong even though she was still able to have a normal conversation with him. After several calls to the out of hours number we got an ambulance to come and take Sam to hospital.
After what seemed an age an ambulance finally arrived and the paramedics had been informed they were seeing a young man who was potentially diabetic!!
Worse than this incredibly bad diagnosis was there whole attitude. They were clearly convinced that they were dealing with a young man suffering from excesses of the festive period. They kept asking Sam if he had taken anything, continually implying he had taken drugs. This was despite Cindy telling them he had been in our care and had already seen a doctor!
By this time Sam could not respond verbally and in their notes they wrote, “he refused to speak”. On reading the notes the head of the ICU stated that should have been substituted with “unable to speak”.
The journey to Broomfield was so distressing for Cindy and Sam. He rapidly deteriorated and the para medic’s attitude to Sam remained aggressive and without compassion. If you knew Sam, then you would know that this was a young man without an aggressive bone in his body. He made people feel good and was rarely if ever judgmental. So for them to view Sam as some belligerent, ignorant and awkward man was so far from the truth and so painful for Cindy to see and to be ignored despite her telling them.
On reaching the hospital, Cindy was literally dumped in a corridor with Sam for nearly 10 minutes before someone came to see her – the para medics didn’t stay with her and didn’t tell her what was happening. She was in panic as she could see Sam struggling and there was nothing she could do.
She begged a nurse to come and help Sam after hearing them laughing in the corridor. She was told he would be with them shortly; When the nurse FINALLY came in, he told Cindy that all of Sam’s vitals were good and that he would be ok.
However Sam continued to deteriorate and a doctor arrived and Cindy had to leave the room.. While Sam was with the doctor the nurse came out again and told Cindy that if Sam continued struggling, they would have to call security…shortly after that , Sam was rushed passed her into resuscitation fighting for his life.
Cindy called me and Dane but was alone listening to the cries of Sam, unable to comfort him in anyway. I arrived about 30 minutes after Cindy called me and I could still hear Sam crying out in distress. Dane arrived very shortly after when they finally had Sam sedated and were suspecting he had meningitis.
After a few hours and the arrival of other members of Sam’s family we were told he was going into intensive care and would wake up with a really bad headache – you can imagine our relief . The nurse told us to go home for a couple of hours and they would have Sam all settled. Dane said he would stay so we agreed.
We arrived back in Braintree to a phone call from Dane saying Sam had taken a turn for the worse and that we needed to get back. It was only after Sam’s death that we were told by the head of the ICU that we should never have been told this as in his opinion, Sam’s fight for life was already over and there was no way back.
- We remember Sam
- We raise awareness and funds for Meningitis
We tell our story and hope beyond all hope it doesn’t happen to you and your child.
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