Florida toddler dies of meningitis as doctors fail to diagnose

Last November, Connor Mincey was sent home sick from a childcare center in Miami, Florida. That day, his parents, Donald and Doreen Mincey, took him to a pediatrician where he was diagnosed with a cold. The pediatrician cleared the 22-month-old child to go back to daycare. Connor died on December 3.

The two weeks between Connor’s initial symptoms and his death were a “nightmare,” said Donald Mincey. The parents took Connor to urgent care and to see a pediatrician.

The Minceys took Connor to the emergency room at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital after they recorded his fever at 103 degrees. The doctors believed that Connor did not need the attention of the emergency room and suggested that they take him to a nearby urgent care instead.

Donald Mincey recalled that Connor was diagnosed with wheezing bronchitis at the urgent care center. “He’s dying in our arms,” Mincey explained, incredulous. “The doctor told us to come back in four to six days. He had lost mobility by then. He couldn’t even stand. To keep giving this child Tylenol and Motrin . . . and he’s not improving. We knew something wasn’t right.”

Soon after, when Connor’s conditioned worsened, the Minceys took him to see a pediatrician again. He told the Minceys to go back to the Nicklaus Children’s emergency room. Connor was admitted there and prescribed antibiotics. Minsey’s attorney Judd Rosen said, “From November 21 to November 28, he was never given antibiotics. We feel that antibiotics would have been able to treat the condition that Connor had.” Doctors finally diagnosed the child with pneumococcal meningitis on November 30.

Pneumococcal meningitis is an extremely infectious disease catalyzed by common bacteria spread by coughing, sneezing and contact with infected saliva or mucus.

Connor was the first of two children at the downtown Miami childcare center to die after getting sick.