Doctors diagnose teen with constipation, dies 24 hours later

This healthy teen boy died after a bout of severe constipation – his parents are now urging everyone to know the warning signs of this lethal condition.


Jack Dunn was 17 years old, a teenager and he was having terrible stomach pains, he even struggled to walk properly with the pain he was in. His parents were quite rightly concerned and took him to a hospital for doctors to assess him.

The doctors gave their opinion to the boy and his parents, they said he had really bad constipation. They gave him a laxative but by the lack of a few more simple and inexpensive tests, they didn’t realize his condition was far more grave!

His father found Kieron, from Wales in the UK, in his bed just 24 hours after he had been released from the hospital, he was dead…

Source: Wales News Service

Hi parents say that the doctors were not really concerned about his really bad stomach pains at all, they scanned his stomach to check is was not appendicitis then they just moved on.

Jack’s father said:

“We took him to A&E and completely trusted the doctors in telling us what was wrong with him. He could barely walk he was in so much pain. He was given a bladder scan but it didn’t really show anything up. The doctor said he was baffled and believed Jack was suffering from nothing more than a bad bout of constipation”

Source: Wales News Service

Sadly though, the doctors were not able to find Jack’s medical condition at the time, its really sad to think a small, fast, and inexpensive test could have saved his life.

Jack had a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, it slowly turns the blood acidic, damages organs severely producing excessive ketones in the blood.

It turns out that Jack had diabetic ketoacidosis.

It all happens as a result of the body not producing enough insulin from the pancreas…

Source: Wales News Service

Kieron said:

“When Jack was finding it difficult to breathe the doctor thought it was probably anxiety because Jack was anxious about being in the hospital …But him struggling to breathe was because his organs were closing down because of the ketoacidosis.”

“Finding my son dead in his bed was the worst moment of my life. I believe Jack would be alive today if a few more simple tests had been carried out.”

Jack’s family are really emotional knowing that it could have easily been prevented if the doctors gave him a very simple glucose test, it would have taken less than two minutes to do the test with a straightforward prick of the finger and a small drop of blood!

Source: Wales News Service

“Jack’s white blood cell count was up so that was an indicator something was going on in his body that wasn’t right. If they had tested him for ketones he would probably be alive today.”

If ketoacidosis is suspected, it’s easy to test for ketones in the blood with a finger prick test, its also easy to treat with insulin, if caught in time it is very manageable.

Ketoacidosis also presents symptoms of fatigue, states of confusion, unusual and great thirst, rapid breathing, and the need to urinate much more frequently, keep these in mind, maybe one day you can help someone knowing this!

Jack’s parents really want to use their story and the tragedy to educate people that could end up in similar circumstances, so that this easily treatable condition doesn’t take any more lives, especially of children or young teens, which is usually when it tends to happen most of the time.

Please SHARE this story with everyone you know and let’s raise awareness and possibly even save lives!