Lynley Bilby

Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Daughter's shock death devastating

Parents demand answers after woman on the mend dies from 'catastrophic event'.

Bonnie Parkes was sent to three different hospitals before being diagnosed with a torn aorta.
Bonnie Parkes was sent to three different hospitals before being diagnosed with a torn aorta.

An hour before Bonnie Parkes died she sent two texts from her Auckland City Hospital bed to her mum, cheerfully asking for her favourite nail polish and some custard.

It signalled to mum Sue her 33-year-old daughter was on the mend after spending a month in hospital recovering after suddenly collapsing at work.

But those texts on Tuesday would be the last time she would hear from the daughter who loved animals and the environment, and whom she called Bon Bon.

Within 45 minutes she took her last breath and could not be revived. Doctors said she had died from a "catastrophic event".

Her devastated parents are left wondering if their daughter might still be alive had she been correctly diagnosed when she was taken to Middlemore Hospital on January 10 after collapsing at work in South Auckland. Instead, they say she was sent to three different public hospitals in Auckland over the space of 48 hours before a correct diagnosis was made of a near-fatal tear in her aorta.

Larry Parkes said they were still coming to terms with the shock of their daughter's death.

She said his daughter had shown "amazing strength, courage and positivity" throughout the ordeal. She had been operated on five times - including open heart surgery - and was looking forward to getting better and returning home.

Instead they will farewell their bright and bubbly daughter tomorrow.

Autopsy results were not expected for another three weeks.

Sue said her daughter had recently bought a home with partner Mike and had set about establishing a mini-paradise on their West Auckland property.

She had plans to run her own business making and selling gluten free products. She also shared a love of music with her partner and enjoyed attending outdoor music festivals. Her parents plan to write to Health Minister Tony Ryall for an explanation, saying they don't believe patients should be transferred undiagnosed.

Counties Manukau District Health Board spokeswoman Lauren Young said patient transfer was always done in the best interests of the patient.

- Herald on Sunday

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