Heartbreak of mother over baby’s stillbirth

April Hall's baby Ethan was stillborn at Bradford Royal Infirmary. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
April Hall's baby Ethan was stillborn at Bradford Royal Infirmary. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A mother has told of her heartbreak over the stillbirth of her first-born baby after Yorkshire hospital bosses admitted liability for the tragedy.

April Hall, 24, has been awarded undisclosed damages over the delivery of baby Ethan at Bradford Royal Infirmary amid allegations midwives had failed to monitor his heart rate appropriately.

Experts for medical negligence lawyers Irwin Mitchell, who represented the family, said if problems with his heartbeat had been spotted earlier, his delivery on June 1, 2011 could have been speeded up.

Miss Hall, of Fagley, Bradford, who has since become a mother to Sapphire, two, and nine-week-old Dalton James with partner Ben Rolfe, 24, said: “I have been left completely heartbroken after losing Ethan, I was really looking forward to being a mum.

“When I finally delivered Ethan, I immediately noticed he didn’t cry or make any sound at all. I kept asking the midwives what was wrong with him as they rubbed his chest to stimulate his breathing.”

She said suddenly a crash team arrived and they tried to revive her baby.

“I was in pieces - I just wanted to be able to hold my newborn son,” she said. “It breaks my heart to know that if Ethan’s slow heart rate had been detected during my labour, the midwives could have delivered him quickly and I would have him here with me now.”

She added: “After Ethan’s death, nurses had suggested that maybe there was a problem with his heart or his brain but I knew there wasn’t.

“I knew something had gone wrong. But it hurts because what I should have is a three-year-old boy with me today.

“Nothing could bring Ethan back or begin to make up for what happened but knowing that everything possible has been done to prevent another baby from dying might mean we can finally lay him to rest and try to begin the long process of rebuilding our lives.”

Specialist medical lawyer Margaret Ryan, of Irwin Mitchell, said: “This is a tragic case that has seen April absolutely devastated by the loss of her son Ethan and she understandably wants answers about what went wrong. April has found it incredibly hard to accept what happened and has needed extensive support to help her come to terms with her loss.”

Chief nurse Juliette Greenwood, of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said an investigation into Ethan’s stillbirth had been carried out.

“Although staff did everything that was expected of them, in keeping with nationally accepted practice, we appreciate that this was a very sad and unexpected outcome for Ms Hall,” she said.