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Byline: JACK EVANS News Reporter

THE parents of a newborn baby who died after being deprived of oxygen at birth have released heartbreaking images of the moment they cradled their lifeless daughter.

Brogan Smith, 23, and Jamie Scrimshaw, 26, were devastated after medics failed to spot telltale complications during the birth of baby Lilah.

The tot died a few hours after arriving into the world at Bassetlaw District General Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on January 21, 2018. Lilah had been whisked away by medical staff following a long and complicated delivery 13 days past Brogan's due date.

She died just seconds after doctors decided to stop performing CPR and switched off her life support in a specialist baby care unit.

Brogan and Jamie spent three days at the hospital with Lilah and described her as the "most precious, most beautiful thing they had ever laid eyes on".

Heart-wrenching images show the anguished couple tenderly holding the child as Jamie clutches Lilah's hand.

They later instructed medical negligence lawyers to investigate their case, which found Lilah's death had been preventable.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has now admitted their blunders led to her death. They agreed there were errors by staff in the care they provided including a failure to detect oxygen deprivation during labour and a failure to hasten the delivery.

The family are now continuing to pursue their negligence case against the hospital and have called for lessons to be learned.

"There are no words to describe what it is like to lose a baby," says Brogan, from Worksop. "Jamie and I went into hospital so full of joy, but within just a few hours of Lilah's birth we were told she was not going to survive.

"That's the worst news any parents could ever hear.

"After the birth I was only able to hold Lilah for a moment. She was the most precious, most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on in my entire life.

"They whisked her away to the Special Care Baby Unit, but as I needed some stitches, Jamie and I couldn't go with her straightaway.

"It wasn't until a doctor came to see us at around 5am that we realised how serious her condition was.

"The doctor told us that there was nothing further they could do to save her. We were taken straight down to the unit to find three people surrounding Lilah. One of them was performing CPR but just seconds later a doctor told them to stop. At this point I knew my baby was gone.

"I held her after and she just looked like she was sleeping. I half-expected her just to open her eyes. But that moment never came.

"We spent the next three days in hospital with Lilah, waiting for the coroner to collect her.

"Although we cherished every second with our daughter, seeing her body deteriorate over these three days has left us with memories that no parent should have of their beautiful baby.

"Lilah's death has been absolutely devastating for the whole family, and knowing it was completely preventable makes our loss even harder to bear.

"Had the Trust provided the care they should have done, we would now have a two-year-old daughter running around our home."

An inquest in November 2018 revealed Lilah had died shortly after delivery as a consequence of a high volume of meconium, the first bowel movement of a new-born infant, being passed and inhaled into her lungs due to her distress during labour.

The Trust wrote to the family's solicitor at Simpson Millar, identifying numerous missed opportunities to intervene and delays in making observations.

These included a "failure to detect baby's hypoxia during labour", a "failure to expedite the delivery" and a failure to "reduce or stop Syntocinin in the presence of an abnormal CTG".

Lilah's family say they are aware steps have been taken by the Trust to learn from the errors, but they now want assurances that lessons learned will be shared across the NHS.

WHAT THE HOSPITAL SAYS DAVID Purdue, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: "On behalf of the Trust, I want to share my sincere apologies and sympathies with both Brogan and Jamie.

"As was highlighted during the inquest, there were clear failings during the care of Lilah and for this we are truly sorry.

"Since this time, the department has seen a change in leadership, as well as undertaking an extensive review of guidelines and procedures in order to ensure colleagues deliver high-quality and safe care for patients, mothers, their babies and families."


| Parents Brogan and Jamie cradle precious baby Lilah in their arms
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Author:JACK EVANS News Reporter
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 8, 2020
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