Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The devastating moment parents said goodbye to their son left severely brain-damaged by hospital blunders

This is the heartbreaking moment parents Johanne Rees and Krishna Govekar clutched their newborn baby boy for the last time, just minutes before being forced to switch off his life-support machine.

The parents said goodbye to son Arun, who had been kept alive for 10 days after his birth, after a catalogue of medical blunders left him severely brain-damaged.

The NHS was today ordered to pay the couple £160,000 compensation after midwives at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW), Cardiff, failed to spot the unborn child was in distress.

Ms Rees said today that she believed they would have had better care if she had given birth in her partner's home country of India.

During her ordeal one doctor even rejected Ms Rees' pleas that she had gone into labour, saying she simply needed the toilet.

The harrowing pictures, which were taken by another family member, were released through the couple's solicitor today to highlight their plight.

Ms Rees, 48, had been classed as having a 'high risk' pregnancy because she was aged 44 when she was due to give birth and had previously suffered a miscarriage.

Ms Rees had been admitted to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff 32 weeks into her pregnancy, in November 2005, with abdominal pains.

But she told how her labour was not properly monitored for more than two hours at. She said heart readings 'clearly showed' her unborn baby was in distress.

'I just couldn't understand why they weren't doing anything to help me and my baby,' she said.

'At my last antenatal visit I was told my baby was breech and I would need a caesarean section.

'It was a no-brainer - I knew my baby needed to be delivered urgently.

'I was screaming in agony and begging the midwives to get my baby out but they just left me.

'I couldn't believe it when a doctor arrived and said I wasn't ready to deliver but had probably eaten something that had disagreed with me and to try going to the toilet instead.'

An emergency caesarean was performed an hour-and-a-half later on a second doctor's recommendation.

Baby Arun was taken to the special baby care unit but had suffered irreversible brain damage.

The parents were not told the extent of their baby's health problems for five days. After spending four days with him they made the decision to switch off his life support machine.

Full article in Daily Mail
Also in Daily Mail: Boy, 10, awarded £7.1 million damages for birth blunders which left him brain-damaged