23/09/2011 08:16 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Gastric Bypass Surgery Killed 18-Stone Woman's Baby

Holly Emms before her gastric bypass operation SWNS Holly before gastric bypass surgery

Desperate to reduce her 18-stone bulk, Holly Emms underwent a gastric bypass operation - completely unaware she was four weeks pregnant. Her baby later died from malnutrition.

Devastated Holly, 25, is now urging any women contemplating gastric surgery to have a pregnancy test first.

Holly lost half her body weight in just four months after having the operation, but it left her unborn baby girl Juli malnourished. The baby was born 15 weeks premature and weighing just 1.9lbs.

Juli was too weak to survive, and heartbroken Holly allowed doctors too switch off her life support machine two days later.

Holly, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, now weighs under nine stone and wears a size 8 dress. She said that little Juli was 'tiny and perfect' and 'like an angel'.

"When the doctors told me they would have to turn her life-support machine off they let me hold her.

"I held my little girl and she died in my arms. I was devastated. Doctors told me Juli died because of my extreme weight loss."
Holly says she is 'angry' at both herself AND the doctors for not doing a pregnancy test before her operation. She said 'nobody offered me one and I never thought of it. I wish with all my heart that I had because I wouldn't have gone ahead with the operation.'

She added that there is 'always a chance, however small, that a woman could be pregnant. I was heartbroken when she died and I must live with the guilt that my weight loss surgery killed her.'

Holly has a seven-year-old daughter Tammi and was on the Pill when she fell pregnant with Juli. She'd had no plans to have another baby, and was having her weight-loss surgery on the advice of the NHS.

Holly Emms after gastric bypass surgery and the death of her baby SWNS Holly after gastric bypass surgery and the death of her daughter

Holly was TEN WEEKS pregnant and had already lost three stone by the time tests revealed she was expecting. Doctors warned her that her diet was not providing with baby with the vital nutrients it needed, but the gastric surgery could not be reversed.

A spokesman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS, which runs Charing Cross Hospital, said gastric bypass patients should avoid becoming pregnant for two years, saying: "This is to minimise complications such as maternal malnutrition, miscarriage and premature, or underweight, birth."

Such a sad story.