Toddler with Bug Bite Turned Away at Hospital, Fighting for Life

Australia’s Health Department has launched an investigation after a two-year-old boy was turned away from a hospital and is now fighting for his life with a potentially fatal infection originating from a bug bite.

Xavier Wakefield

The toddler’s parents brought him to Blacktown Hospital with a red, swollen foot from what they believed was an ant bite. The hospital staff sent the child home, advising the parents to “let nature take its course.”

24 hours later, Xavier Funnell had developed a high temperature. He is now connected to tubes and machines in the intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital. As his symptoms worsened, his parents rushed him to Children’s Hospital in Westmead where his undiagnosed golden staph infection was discovered to have spread into his lungs.

Xavier Wakefield

Doctors are now treating that infection with intravenous antibiotics and the boy’s condition is improving, with Xavier listed in stable condition.

Dr. Michael Datyner is the Medical Director at Blacktown Hospital. He has apologized to the family and announced an urgent clinical review and investigation that is underway to find out what went wrong and why the child was released without treatment.

Xavier’s family are understandably furious, but are concentrating their emotions on the little boy who appears to be getting better, but still has days in the hospital and careful monitoring ahead of him.



About the author


Vicki Clinebell is a former television advertising executive who spent 25+ years with an ABC television affiliate in sales and marketing. A journalism major in college at the University of Colorado/Boulder, she now writes for a variety of online and print publications and provides blog content for clients including retail businesses and artists. The diversity of subject matter appeals to her, whether she’s reporting on the latest trends in baby gear, highlighting stories about outdoor adventures, or explaining basic pet-care tips. Even better, she says, is the shorter work commute… just down the hall, and a dress code that’s changed from suits and heels to jeans and a sweatshirt.

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