Mother Raises Funds For Charity Following Loss Of Baby Girl
A mother is calling for lessons to be learned following the death of her unborn baby after a hospital did not adequately monitor her prior to her daughter’s birth.
Emma Wallis (now Tiley) was admitted to The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge on 27 June 2014 when her waters broke at 27 weeks, but labour failed to progress. She began to feel unwell and on 3 July she was advised she would undergo a caesarean section the following morning with a plan that she would be transferred to the delivery ward when possible.
Sadly, early on 4 July medical staff could not find the baby’s heartbeat and Emma was informed that her unborn daughter Rosie had died.
Following Rosie’s death, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust conducted an investigation which found that she had died from “overwhelming sepsis.”
Emma initially accepted the results of the investigation, but when her second son Rory was born, he spent time in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). A Serious Incident Investigation carried out by the trust found a “failure” by the same hospital to follow up a positive test result for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). Emma also learned of other families whose babies had been born early with infection but had survived.
Emma and her now-husband Carl Tiley, of Ely, instructed legal experts at national firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received during her time in hospital and whether more could have been done to save Rosie.
Their legal team has now secured a settlement from the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which admitted a “failure to provide a standard of treatment which could be reasonably expected.” The Trust said that Emma should have been transferred to the delivery unit by 2am on 4 July, which was not undertaken. It further admitted that at the very least Emma should have been given enhanced care and monitoring during the early hours of 4 July, with frequent checking of Rosie’s heartbeat as a minimum.
Expert evidence obtained by her lawyers at Irwin Mitchell concluded that, had Emma received the correct monitoring during her time in hospital, staff would have discovered that baby Rosie was in distress. A caesarean section would have been carried out earlier and Rosie would have been born alive.
Expert Opinion“The past few years have been incredibly difficult for Emma and her family. Not only have they had to endure the heartbreak of losing Rosie but they have also had to try and come to terms with the fact that her death could have been prevented had proper monitoring been carried out.
Through our work, we see many people dealing with the loss of a loved one, and stillbirth is a hugely traumatic experience.
While nothing will bring Rosie back, Emma now has some justice for her daughter and we hope that this will ensure that lessons are learned to stop this happening to someone else.”
Amie Minns - Solicitor
Emma, 34, lives in the Soham district of Ely with her husband Carl, 35, and two children, River, 11, and three-year-old Rory. She works as an ambassador for a well-known high street cosmetics company.
During her pregnancy with Rosie, Emma suffered heavy bleeding but told her legal team that she was advised this was normal and did not receive any further monitoring above the usual care.
After she was admitted to hospital in June 2014, Emma said there was an expectation that she would go into labour within 48 hours, but this did not happen.
She was given antibiotics and steroids and remained in hospital for a week. During this time, she began to feel unwell with a fever and headache which developed into a migraine.
By 3 July, Emma’s symptoms were worsening. A doctor came around that night and told her that they would carry out a caesarean section the following morning. However, at around 9am on 4 July, Rosie’s heartbeat could not be found and a scan confirmed that she had passed away.
Since losing her daughter, Emma has spent time fund-raising for Petals, the Baby Loss Counselling Charity, SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) and 4Louis, a charity that works across the country to support anyone affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby or child, who provided Emma and Carl with a memory box and photographs of Rosie. Emma’s fundraisers have included 10k races and planting trees in memory of loved ones. In addition, Emma does something to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week every year in memory of Rosie and all the other babies lost.
She has also started up her own group on Facebook called Rosie’s Angel Gowns, making gowns for babies to be laid to rest in. The gowns are made from the wedding dresses of mothers who have lost their babies and donated to local hospitals. Emma already donates to The Rosie Hospital and requests that any other hospitals or parents in need of Angel Gowns make contact through her Facebook page.
Emma said: “Losing Rosie was truly horrific and a very difficult time for me and the whole family. I still have nightmares about it.
“After it happened, I attended counselling sessions at Petals which helped me with my grief, and I also focused on caring for River which gave me something positive to do. But I could not forget about Rosie, and when I was told that her death was down to sepsis, I did not question it and tried to move forward as best I could.
“Then I met several other parents, while in hospital with Rory, who had babies with infections delivered early and they had survived. Some of them had development problems but they were still here. It made me think of Rosie and I knew I had to get justice for her.
“I then found out that I had tested positive for Group B Strep during my pregnancy with Rory but no follow up had taken place. As a result, Rory was born in really poor condition. At one point, I thought I was going to lose another baby, but thankfully he was able to make a full recovery.
“To then find out that Rosie might still be here if we had been monitored properly left me devastated. Nothing will ever bring back my baby girl and that breaks my heart every day.
“It is difficult not to think about Rosie, how she would be developing the friendship she would now have with her brothers. She will always be part of our family and we will never forget her.
“All I can hope for now is that no other family suffers in the way we have.”
More information on the charities involved in Emma’s fund-raising can be found on the Petals Charity, Sands and 4 Louis websites.
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