Aishwarya Aswath’s parents vow to fight for better health care system

Charlotte EltonThe West Australian
Aswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan, the parents of Aishwarya Aswath.
Camera IconAswath Chavittupara and Prasitha Sasidharan, the parents of Aishwarya Aswath. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian

The heartbroken parents of Aishwarya Aswath have promised to keep “fighting” to improve the WA health system.

The couple took their little girl to PCH in April after she developed a fever. After waiting for two agonising hours, the seven-year-old died within minutes of being seen.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care inquiry tabled in parliament on Tuesday blasted a series of system failures for her death — and recognised her family for their tireless struggle to better WA hospitals.

“Through the anguish of loss and despair, Aishwarya’s parents became increasingly committed to honour the memory and legacy of Aishwarya by seeking to create an improved healthcare system for children,” it reads.

Speaking to 7NEWS today, the bereaved couple said they had no plans to give up.

“When something goes wrong with the system, generally people don’t care, they just don’t have the time and they’re not motivated enough to fight,” Aswath Chavittupara, Aishwarya’s father, said.

“It’s a different situation for us, we lost our daughter. And you know, we don’t want anyone to go through that. If you look at the system ... there’s a lot of opportunities to improve.”

7yo - Aishwarya Aswath died at Perth Childrens Hospital.
Dad - Aswath Chavittupara, and Mum - Prasitha Sasidharan
speak to 9NEWS about the incident.
Camera IconAishwarya Aswath died at Perth Childrens Hospital. Credit: 9NEWS/9NEWS

The grieving father urged health bosses not to resort to “old tricks” in the aftermath of the report’s publication.

“If they come out with the truth or if they admit their mistakes ... then we can start a new chapter,” Mr Chavittupara said.

The report issues 30 recommendations, including prioritising adequate nursing and medical staffing, recognising parental input to escalate care, and stressing the need to improve patient flow protocol. The government have accepted all of them.

They still face unimaginable grief.

“It’s very hard,” her Mother Prasitha Sasidharan said.

Her husband echoed this devastation.

“Not at the moment,” he said, when asked if he would take his other children to PCH.

“I wouldn’t stop anyone else from visiting… but we are emotionally not in a state to visit.”

Aishwarya was an avid artist. Her heartbroken father predicted she would be “doing a lot of painting” if she were still alive..

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