"A tiny white coffin": Mum shares heartache at inquest into baby boy's death
A mother has broken down at the inquest into the death of her baby boy.
Grief-stricken mum Gráinne Somers spoke about the harrowing death of her baby boy Laurence at Dublin District Coroner’s Court, the Examiner reveals.
Her son passed away on January 28, 2018, just five days after she welcomed him via an emergency caesarian section.
The heartbroken woman said she knew something was wrong, but called out staff at St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny, who failed to tell her just how ill her newborn was.
She asked the court, “How could a normal pregnancy end with us not taking our son home in a car seat and instead in a tiny white coffin?”
Ms Somers revealed that staff never told her or her husband that their baby boy needed to be resuscitated when he was born.
Medical experts said the mum had a completely normal pregnancy up until her delivery.
Ms Somers was 10 days overdue when staff sent her home after a visit to the hospital on January 22, 2018. She returned to the hospital the following day and was suffering from extreme pains.
She explained to the court that the room of doctors and midwives erupted into a panic.
She said nobody told her what was going on.
The couple later learned their son had what doctors described as "a cot death in the womb".
When Ms Somers woke up in the recovery ward, she said nobody would tell her anything about her son. “When I asked how my baby was, I received no answer and the staff just walked away from me.”
She finally got to see her son later that evening before he was transferred to the Coombe.
Her son later suffered a seizure on January 28 and was told intensive care treatment was not an option.
“Not knowing how my son was, I was traumatised at the thoughts of him being so far away from me,” she shared.
Baby Laurence's cause of death was ruled as severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, which means brain damage as a result of weak oxygen and blood supply.
It is believed he suffered from these injuries during or around the time of his birth.
The infant also suffered from foetal distress and high blood pressure.
A blood clot was also found in the vein between his intestines and his liver.
The mum broke down in tears as she recalled the harrowing moment they decided to switch off his life support.
Ms Somers said her baby boy died in her arms and his death has caused heartbreak and disbelief.
She explained that she reached out to consultant obstetrician, Ray O’Sullivan, the doctor in charge of her care, but he failed to meet her on numerous occasions.
The inquest heard that the hospital staff failed to perform a 10-day overdue ultrasound on Ms Somers.
The inquest continues today.