Shamir Tillery was 11 months old when he went to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia emergency room. Shamir was suffering from fever and breathing difficulties. The hospital and emergency room staff diagnosed an upper respiratory infection or pneumonia and sent him home.
The next day, Shamir was returned to the Children’s Hospital with worsened symptoms. This included increased fever, irritability, increased pulse and respiration rates, dehydration and lethargy. The emergency room physician, Dr. Monika Goyal, ordered chest X-rays, ruled out pneumonia and upper respiratory infection and again sent Shamir home with instructions to follow up with his pediatrician.
The following day, Shamir returned to the same hospital. Over the next several hours he was examined and received a diagnosis of possible pneumonia or bacterial infection. More than 6 hours after he arrived at Children’s Hospital, he underwent a lumbar puncture that revealed bacterial meningitis. The late diagnosis and treatment was devastating. Shamir is now 6 years old. He suffers from brain damage and a profound hearing loss.