POLITICS

Antoinette Sandbach, In Teary Late-Night Commons Address, Recounts The Night Her Baby Son Died

03/11/2015 11:15 GMT | Updated 03/11/2015 13:59 GMT

One of Parliament's newest MPs has given an emotional account of the night she discovered her five-day-old son had died.

Antoinette Sandbach recounted the event in her teary address in the Commons on Monday evening, calling on health ministers to ensure bereaved parents had proper access to psychological support.

The MP for Eddisbury said the government should honour a commitment to give mental health issues equal footing to physical ones.

Sandbach, who lost her child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 2009, recalled: "The night my son died I woke to find him not breathing.

"Arriving at hospital, looking at a flatline in the ambulance for over 20 minutes, a crash team was waiting for me - but it was too late.

"The consultant neonatologist was calm and a reassuring presence and the nursing staff were patient.

"I readily agreed to a post-mortem, as I wanted to know exactly what had happened."

She continued: "Staff at the hospital were wonderful but I found myself in a plain room with questions being asked of me. I was told that I had to wait for the police.

"I had left in such a panic that I had left my telephone behind and I couldn't remember any telephone numbers and was there on my own."

As the Conservative MP became teary-eyed, a Tory colleague intervened to praise her for an "emotional and powerful contribution" contribution.

Sandbach thanked him, before continuing.

"I arrived home later that morning to find the police officers going through my house," she said.

"Clearly they had to investigate as the death had been away from hospital, and I had to explain to my 6-year-old what had happened."

The MP went on to praise the counselling she received after as "a lifeline for me", and called on health minister Ben Gummer to safeguard psychological support for other parents in her position.

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