A 4-year-old British girl died in her father’s arms after a pool accident while on holiday in Egypt
A British girl has died in her father’s arms after a pool accident while on holiday in Egypt, an inquest has heard.
Indianna Maddison, 4, was on a festive break at the Jaz Makadi Aquaviva hotel in Hurghada with her parents and eight siblings in December 2018 when tragedy struck.
She was paddling the top steps of a swimming pool when she got into trouble just four days before Christmas.
Indianna, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, was rushed to hospital in Egypt before being flown back to Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in the UK on Christmas Day.
When she returned to England, doctors told Indianna’s family that her condition was much worse than they had first thought.
A Newcastle Coroner’s Court inquest heard that Indianna suffered severe brain damage after nearly drowning.
She tragically died on Boxing Day 2018 in her father’s arms – five days after being pulled from the water.
Indianna’s parents, Kelly Maddison, 42, and Tommy Maddison, 48, said they had “a number of concerns about the handling of safety around the pool at the time of Indianna’s accident , as well as the medical care she received before the arrival of the paramedics”.
The inquest heard an expert report which found Indianna had been in the water for around five minutes before being rescued.
Her parents said Indianna couldn’t swim and had a life jacket and arm bands she usually wore in the kiddie pool – but she wasn’t wearing them at the time of the accident.
Mr Maddison said he and his wife drove to the local town the morning of the incident to take family photos and left Indiana with his 25-year-old sister, Billie-Jean Maddison.
When they returned, he said Indianna was playing around the large heated pool outside the family room.
The inquest heard that Ms Maddison was with the two youngest children while Mr Maddison went into the bedroom for cigarettes before going to the snack bar for pizza.
On the way home, he had a brief conversation with another couple, then he heard screams and Miss Maddison shouting, “It’s Indianna.”
Mr Maddison told the inquest: “I never took my eyes off her. That’s why I can never understand it.
“When I gave Kelly cigarettes – at that time Indianna was on the steps.
“When I was talking to these people I was still watching. I had just seen her, I can’t understand when they say it was five minutes.”
The family described the moments after Indianna was pulled from the pool as “chaos”, with people “fighting to do CPR”.
Miss Maddison said: “I would describe it as a pack of hyenas around a little lion cub. Not bad, they all wanted to help.”
The inquest heard no medical equipment was “available or in use” by the pool.
Ms Maddison’s statement read: “Someone found the hotel doctor but he arrived at the same time as the ambulance.
“He didn’t do much – he walked very slowly towards us and shook his head.”
She said the ambulance arrived after about 10 minutes but “it didn’t really look like an ambulance” and there was no equipment inside.
While in hospital in Egypt, Indianna’s parents learned that she suffered from seizures.
On her last day before being flown home by air ambulance, she reportedly suffered a stroke.
Ms Maddison said: “The doctor said Indianna was going to recover from the stroke because her body was young and still developing.”
She added that even when they arrived in Newcastle ‘we had no idea how bad things were getting’.
Mr Maddison said: “There was never any doubt that Indianna would not be fine. We thought she might at most be disabled.
“I was so sure she would be fine. They said everything was fine.”
The inquest heard that when Indianna was admitted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, she went into cardiac arrest.
A brain scan later showed there was “no hope for Indianna”.
Ms Maddison said: “I was heartbroken and so shocked. This was horrible news for me.”
The couple said in their statements that they “didn’t feel safe” at the hotel.
They said the lock on the door between their room and the pool didn’t work.
They said the steps to enter the pool were “very slippery” and they never saw a lifeguard at the pool where Indianna had her accident.
The investigation is continuing.