Couple’s Daughter Suffered Catastrophic Brain Injury And Multiple Organ Failure
The devastated parents of a baby girl from Batley who died four days after birth have spoken out on their loss following an inquest into her death.
Lyla Morton was born by caesarean section at Leeds General Infirmary in June 2019. She was in a poor condition and not breathing. She was intubated and transferred to the neonatal department for further care.
After failing to respond to treatment, Lyla died four days later. A post-mortem examination found she had suffered a catastrophic brain injury.
Following their daughter’s death, Lyla’s parents Heidi Mayman, 31, and Dale Morton, 30, instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care provided by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, and support them through the inquest process. Irwin Mitchell is campaigning to improve maternity services across the country and has also contributed to the Health Committee’s Maternity Safety Call for Evidence.
An inquest into Lyla’s death took place at Wakefield Coroner’s Court earlier this month.
Expert Opinion“The past two years have been incredibly difficult for Heidi and Dale who are still struggling with their tragic loss.
Through our work, we sadly meet too many families left devastated by issue in maternity care. While there is nothing that can be done to change what happened to Lyla, we are pleased to at least have helped provide Heidi and Dale with answers they deserve regarding Lyla’s death.
As the investigation continues into the death of their baby daughter, we will continue to support Heidi and Dale throughout the process.”
Victoria Moss - Solicitor
Heidi was 29 when she was pregnant with Lyla, her first child, and said there were no problems during her pregnancy. At 39+6 weeks pregnant, on 12 June 2019, Heidi said she felt a ‘pop’ and passed liquid and blood. She said she contacted LGI’s maternity assessment centre but was advised to stay at home until she was in labour.
Heidi told her lawyers she contacted the maternity unit another two times within 16 hours. On the second occasion she was advised to attend hospital. However, shortly after arrival she said she was advised to go back home and wait for her labour to progress.
At home, Heidi’s pain increased and, after another two telephone conversations with the maternity assessment centre, she returned to hospital during the early hours of 13 June where she was assessed and again advised to go home. However, Heidi said she wanted to remain in hospital and was admitted to the antenatal ward.
Shortly afterwards, Heidi reported that she couldn’t feel any fetal movements and a cardiotocograph (CTG) was carried out to record the baby’s heart rate. She told her legal team she was reassured that the readings were normal and everything was fine.
However, Lyla was born by caesarean section later that day and required resuscitation. She was transferred to the neonatal unit but sadly died, aged four days.
Following the inquest, the coroner recorded a narrative conclusion stating that Lyla’s CTG was regarded as pathological at least by 1pm on 13 June and remained so. A decision to carry out an emergency caesarean section was made at 4.42pm, with Lyla born at 5.04pm in a poor condition.
A post mortem examination found that Lyla had suffered a lack of oxygen due to a small placenta, the ability of which to “sustain the baby during the stress of labour was probably exhausted”, and this led to a catastrophic brain injury and multiple organ failure.
Heidi, a hairdresser, said after the hearing: “Almost two years on, it’s still so difficult for Dale and I to accept that Lyla is not with us.
“When I found out I was pregnant, we were so happy and excited at the prospect of becoming parents, and it’s incredibly upsetting to know that our baby girl didn’t get to experience any kind of life in her short time here.
“We would give anything to turn back the clock and for things to be different, but we know that’s not possible. At least now we have some answers as to why Lyla was taken from us so soon.
“Nothing will ever make up for the pain and loss we feel. We just want to raise awareness and encourage women to speak up and persevere if they think something’s wrong. We all know our own bodies, but I feel like I wasn’t listened to.
“All we can hope for now is that it won’t happen to anyone else.”