Toddler Isabella Lamont was coughing and vomiting before her sudden death, inquest hears

A toddler started coughing, vomiting and moaning more than a day before she died in hospital from a mystery cause, a court has heard.Isabella Lamont was 20 months old when she died after being rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital from the Victorian border town of Wodonga in October 2018.
The day before Isabella died Isabella attended a birthday party.
Afterwards she had a “fit”, turned purple, went limp and was “barely breathing”, the Coroners Court of Victoria was told during a directions hearing on Tuesday.
She died on October 7, a day after the party.
An autopsy found she had cardiac arrest with brain swelling but how that happened was “unsettled”, counsel assisting Libby Murphy said.
“The cause of death was unascertained,” she said.
A doctor who performed the autopsy found this may have been caused by accidental or non-accidental head trauma.
A woman in the courtroom in Wodonga could be seen crying and wiping her eyes as the details of the girl’s death were read out.
The young girl was living with her dad Michael Kell and his partner Lisa Pullen at the time she died.
The night before the birthday party Isabella started “coughing” and trying to put her fingers in her throat after she had her dinner.
Isabella was “continuously coughing” before she started to vomit through the night.
The little girl was heard “moaning” from midnight and her dad slept with her in the living room before they got up early for the birthday lunch at the Blazing Stump at Wodonga.
At the party other kids told adults Isabella was lying on the ground in the children’s playroom of the Blazing Stump.
The girl was put in a high chair and ate some jelly with the other children but later vomited it up, Ms Murphy told the court.
She was put back into the playroom but was found lying on the ground again. The court was told the girl looked “sad” before the family left for the day.
Her mother Patricia Lamont said the process had taken “so long” and she still wanted justice for her daughter.
“I want answers. I want justice for my daughter. There needs to be accountability for those who were responsible and there needs to be reforms to the systems that lead to this tragedy,” Ms Lamont said in a statement.
The directions hearing on Tuesday was to provide an update into the investigation and a timeline for the parties.
Coroner Leveasque Peterson ordered a brief to be provided by August and noted she had not yet decided whether an inquest would be held.
Another directions hearing will be held later in the year in Melbourne, the court heard.