Parents claim daughter died because hospital refused to do x-rays after she swallowed a battery

Junie Sihlangu
Nov 15, 2018
10:30 A.M.
Share this pen

Isabella Rees died on February 4, 2015, at the age of 14 months. She died in hospital after she swallowed a button battery.


Her parents are now attending a coronial hearing at the Coroners Court of Victoria to investigate her final days alive and her death.

Isabella Rees’ mother Allison Rees told the hearing that she and her husband, Robert, had taken the little girl to Melbourne's Sunshine Hospital when they realized something was wrong. They went a total of three times in just two weeks.

The parents were concerned that something was stuck inside her throat. January 16, 2015, was the first time they went to the emergency room.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Robert shared that he had seen the baby holding a double-A battery at their Taylor's Hill home.

During one visit the medical staff even asked them if there was a chance she had swallowed something. However, a doctor informed Allison that it wasn’t possible and that whatever was inside her was just "passing through."


Little Isabella suffered from blackened feces, a fever, clots, and she was also vomiting blood vomiting. Her mother took the toddlers dirty nappies, blood clots found in the cot, and images as proof to the hospital.

However, the hospital still wasn’t convinced. Allison shared:

"Because every time we went we had evidence … we were just disregarded and turned away. It felt like we were hypochondriacs."


Baby Isabella was denied an x-ray or an ultrasound. For the inquest, Coroner Caitlin English has been working to determine whether the hospital provided appropriate care to the little girl.

English is also trying to figure out when the baby likely swallowed the button battery. The battery is a mystery to the Rees’ as they claimed to not know where it came from because none of the appliances in their home was missing a battery.


Allison said the family was unsure how the baby came into contact with the object, or where the button battery came from because devices in their home were not missing any batteries.


Allison revealed that the reason she wanted the case taken to inquest was not to place blame but to better educate people about the risk of leaving children around batteries. The inquest is expected to hear 17 witnesses including family, medical experts, and Sunshine Hospital staff.


In the same year, Brianna Florer, 2, suddenly fell ill on December 27. Her grandfather shared that she started vomiting blood and then turned blue.

Her parents called paramedics and she was taken to hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, the toddler died after two hours of emergency surgery attempting to stop the internal bleeding.

It was found that she had swallowed a button battery.