Newborn Baby Started Breathing After His Mum Was Told He Was Dead

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

Newborn baby started breathing after his mum was told he was dead

Doctors told a first time mum her baby was dead only for him to start breathing 36 minutes after he was born.

Bolton Coroner's Court heard that Victoria Weaving-Shorrocks was initially told baby Luke was dead after his traumatic birth.

But around 36 minutes later, he suddenly took a 'couple of breaths' and was rushed into intensive care.

He was kept in hospital for a further five weeks before being sent home by doctors.

Luke was left severely brain damaged after his brain was starved of oxygen during the birth.

He died aged only three months after he stopped breathing during a feeding session.

Mum Victoria, 33, from Wigan, told Bolton coroner Kevin McLaughlin how the 'absolute joy' of having her first baby with husband Richard turned into a 'horrific ordeal'.

She said she had a routine first pregnancy and was expected to have a normal birth when she was admitted to the hospital on 17 May 2011.

She said she had put her trust and faith into the professionals at the hospital and she was reassured everything was going well by medical staff.

However, Dr George Theophiou told the coroner she experienced complications during labour and Luke's head became stuck in Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks' pelvis.

The court heard two attempts to deliver Luke by suction failed. He was eventually delivered by a Caesarean section.

He was weak and barely breathing, and Mrs Weaving-Shorrock said she saw a 'look of dread and panic' on the faces of maternity staff - some who were reduced to tears during the delivery.

Paediatrian Dr Martin Farrier said staff at Wigan Infirmary in Greater Manchester battled to revive Luke for 20 minutes after he was born but he showed no signs of life for a further 16 minutes after that.

He told the inquest: "I remember looking at his dad and recognising absolute terror.

"I did not expect Luke to survive, I believed the outcome was inevitable.

"I believe I said that I did not expect Luke to survive. Babies typically die some hours later, usually 12-24 hours, it was my expectation that he would not survive.

"It was the most extraordinary moment of my career when I recognised that he was breathing. We had 36 minutes of no significant output."

He said Luke would have suffered brain and heart damage because of the conditions he was born in.

Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks told the court how she was woken at 3am the next day to get Luke christened as staff did not think he would make it through the night.

He did survive and was treated at Hope Hospital for three weeks then returned to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary for another two weeks before being discharged.

Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks told the court even though Luke had complex needs he was discharged with just 30 minutes of training on how to care for him.

The court heard Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks and her husband Richard are campaigning to improve training given to parents in similar circumstances in the future.

The inquest continues.

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