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Parents of tragic baby Axel join fight to save hospital where he died

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:00 21 March 2013

Parents Linda Peanberg King and Alistair King, whose baby son Axel died at the Whittington, at the march to save the hospital on Saturday

Parents Linda Peanberg King and Alistair King, whose baby son Axel died at the Whittington, at the march to save the hospital on Saturday

Archant

Parents Linda Peanberg King and Alistair King joined a march to save the hospital where their baby died, aged just seven weeks.

They and two-year-old son Carl took to the streets on Saturday alongside thousands of others to protest against cuts at the Whittington Hospital.

Linda and Alistair’s son Axel died in November after allegedly being sent to the back of the queue at the out-of-hours GP service run by private firm Harmoni, which is based in the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway.

But despite the tragedy, the couple were determined to join the fight to secure the future of the hospital, which faces cuts to wards, beds, staff and the sale of buildings.

Mrs Peanberg King said: “Even though Axel died there, we have nothing but good things to say about the Whittington. Their efforts to resuscitate him were heroic.

“Both our sons were born there, we know people who have been hospitalised there.

“We have so many memories, both positive and negative.

“The staff appreciate that we are going to be more nervous than other parents now and it really feels like they are ready to support the family for the long haul. This is our chance to support them back.”

The family rode on the Gazette bus before completing about half of the two-mile march, from Highbury Corner to the hospital’s entrance, on foot.

At the start of this month, an inquest into Axel’s death found his initial telephone referral from a Harmoni GP was “wholly inadequate”.

The family, who lived in Finsbury Park at the time of Axel’s death, are determined to help stop other children slipping through the net.

Mrs Peanberg King said: “It was a very emotional day, but it felt very right. It could well be something we always associate with Axel’s death.

“From what I have read about child bereavement you never really accept that your child is dead. It is such a brutal thing to happen. But I think the march has been helpful. When we got home, Alistair said ‘it feels good to have done something’.”

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