Mother of a trans teen says her son ‘would still be alive’ if medical staff had acted differently

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The mother of trans teen Tyla Cook, who died in 2017, has said she believes her son “would still be alive” if NHS staff had acted differently in the days before his death.

Tyla Cook, 16, had socially transitioned in the month before his death in December 2017.

He had eating issues and struggled with self-harm, an inquest has heard, as well as having depression and anxiety.

At the start of the five-day hearing, the inquest heard from Tyla’s mother, Stacey Drake, who said her son died six days after taking a drug overdose.

She said “he would still be alive” if Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust had acted differently.

Drake said the family was “not happy” with the way Tyla was treated by paramedics and hospital staff.

The inquest heard that following his overdose on 9 November 2017, Tyla was taken to hospital – carried to the ambulance and forcibly restrained while “very stressed”, despite the fact that his health passport stipulated he should not be restrained.

Once in hospital Tyla, who was autistic, was sedated and then put into an induced coma.

The trans teen died six days later on 15 November from a cardiac arrest.

His mum raised concerns, via statement, at the inquest that Tyla had waited in the ambulance for more than two hours outside the hospital before being admitted.

She said she felt excluded from decisions around his medical care and that if medical staff had acted differently he would still be alive.

In a statement read in court, Drake said she had consented on Tyla’s behalf to treatment for the overdose but felt excluded from his further care.

“I felt they were doing things to Tyla without speaking to his parents first,” she said. “We are not happy with the way Tyla was being treated.”

The inquest heard that doctors believe his fatal cardiac arrest was due to his heart being weakened by either a blood clot or the induced coma.

The inquest continues.