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Health, News

Investigation launched after Cardiff mother dies after being seen by three doctors

More to follow at 18:00 GMT on Wales Tonight

A young mother died just 24 hours after being sent home from a Cardiff hospital.

Catherine Townley was seen by three different doctors over three days and told friends she felt like she was being treated as a time waster after repeatedly being sent away.

Tonight an investigation has been launched into how doctors at the University Hospital of Wales in Heath, Cardiff, missed the mystery illness that claimed her life.

The 21-year-old mother-of-one complained of chest pains and numbness in her fingers to family member who then took her to the accident and emergency unit at the University Hospital.

There she was seen by a doctor and given an electro cardiogram. The results came back clear and she was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics.

But when she became worse five hours later her worried family took her back to the hospital where doctors said she was having an Asthma attack.

Ms. Townley was given an asthma pump and sent home to Llanishen, Cardiff.

The next day she went to her GP surgery after she began vomiting and becoming short of breath.

But the doctor put the sickness down to a reaction to the antibiotics and diagnosed a pulled muscle in her chest. Ms. Townley later collapsed at her mother’s home where a doctor was called who immediately called for an ambulance.

“Catherine was unconscious, her legs were twitching and she was clammy,” said her mother, Nadena Townley.

Ms. Townley’s heart stopped as she arrived at the hospital, she was resuscitated and put on a life-support machine. She never revived and 15 hours later her family made the decision to turn off her lie support.

An inquest has been opened into Ms. Townley’s death but a post mortem examination has failed to give a cause of death.

A hospital spokesperson said: “Cardiff and Vale University Health Board does not comment on individual cases.”

More to follow at 18:00 GMT on Wales Tonight

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