THE heartbroken family of tragic Stourbridge teenager Alfie Rose say they are taking legal action after a coroner ruled his death could have been avoided if he'd received hospital treatment sooner.

Alfie, aged 17, died from complications of hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid on the brain - at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital on June 9 after an agonising few weeks for his family who tried desperately to raise their concerns over the teenager's health with medics.

His elder sister Rhianon Rose-Thomas said the family had been left devastated by the loss of Alfie and she added: "It's been a nightmare. Our family will never be the same again."

Trainee bricklayer Alfie was seen repeatedly by medics at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, the QE in Birmingham and by GPs at Lion Health in the weeks leading up to his death.

The teenager from Pedmore had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth and he was treated in hospital but from the age of two he had been able to live a normal life and was symptom free of the condition.

But earlier this year he started suffering from headaches and his mum Kim, aged 54, became concerned as their severity increased.

At the start of May Alfie agreed to see his GP but the headaches got so bad he attended the walk-in centre at Russells Hall where he was advised to attend A&E.

After tests he was admitted to Russells Hall but was discharged four days later and an appointment was made for him to attend the QE on May 16.

There the consultant advised a detailed MRI scan was needed and it was suggested Alfie be admitted that night.

His family, however, say he was so distressed during his stay at Russells Hall - where they claim he was put on a ward with elderly dementia patients - that they asked if he could return home and await the scan.

They say this was agreed and they expected to hear within days but they say they heard nothing further from the hospital and by May 24 Alfie began to feel "extremely nauseous" and his headaches had worsened.

They say phone calls were made to the QE to no avail so Alfie's mum took him to Lion Health to ask his GP to contact the hospital.

By May 27 Alfie felt even worse so his mum made an emergency GP appointment and he was sent to Russells Hall but after a CT scan was allowed home.

By June 6, however, Alfie was vomiting and holding his head down so his mum took him to A&E at Russells Hall where he was sick in the car park and briefly lost the use of his right leg.

Once there he underwent an MRI scan but the family say doctors suspected a virus was the cause of his sickness - so he returned home.

Later that night, however, Alfie was sick again and complained of his teeth tingling so his mum called paramedics.

He was taken to A&E at Russells Hall but after being given pain relief and hooked up to a monitor at the hospital his condition deteriorated and he had to be resuscitated.

He was subsequently transferred to the QE for surgery but by the following morning his sister Rhianon was told he may not wake up...and the worst was eventually confirmed on June 9 - Alfie was brain dead.

His heartbroken sister Rhianon said: "This was the last thing we expected. Not once before Alfie was admitted to the QE for surgery was it communicated to Alfie or the family that his condition would be fatal if left untreated."

Birmingham coroner Louise Hunt recorded a narrative verdict that Alfie died from complications of obstructive hydrocephalus - and said an "earlier detailed MRI scan, admission and treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital neurosurgery unit on May 16, 27 and the morning of June 6 would on balance have avoided his death".

Dr Paul Harrison, acting chief executive of the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Alfie Rose.

"We accept the coroner’s narrative conclusion, and we will be working hard to improve communication with our healthcare colleagues to help prevent future deaths."

A spokesman for the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QE, said: "The Trust extends its sympathies towards the family of Mr Rose. Patient safety remains our number one priority and where possible we will learn lessons and improve procedures to ensure delivery of the best possible care."

Alfie's family say they are now looking to take legal action against both hospital trusts and Rhianon said: "I will fight with every bone in my body to make sure this doesn't happen again."

She added: "We miss Alfie terribly".

The former student at Pedmore Technology College student, who also leaves a twin sister April, aged 17, and older brother Connor, aged 21, was a year into an apprenticeship at Stourbridge College.

Rhianon said: "He was excelling. All his tutors told us what a bright young man he was and that his death had come as a huge shock."