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Devastated mum had stillborn baby two days after hospital inappropriately sent her home

Devastated mum had stillborn baby two days after hospital inappropriately sent her home

A devastated mum has described her heartbreak after her baby was delivered stillborn two days after she was wrongly sent home from a hospital.


Hayley Ryan, 43, lost her son Zaiyan at 30 weeks after being admitted to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.

An NHS probe into her baby’s death found six “care problems” and found the decision to discharge her from hospital was “inappropriate”.

Medics also missed a diagnosis of acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP), a serious complication that can result in the death or profound disability of a mother and her newborn.

Hayley, who has two other children, said: “The last two years and trying to come to terms with Zaiyan’s death has been the most traumatic time I could ever imagine.

"When I was in hospital I told the doctors and nurses how unwell I was but I just felt that my concerns weren’t listened to properly.

"I knew something wasn’t right and didn’t want to go home but it felt like I was given little choice but to do so."

Hayley, from Aberdare, South Wales, went to hospital on June 9, 2020, with vomiting, abdominal pain, lower backache and not passing urine.

Doctors believed she may have a water infection and she underwent tests for Sepsis.

She was prescribed strong painkillers but no stomach ultrasound was carried out to investigate her abdominal pain.

Her blood test and liver function test results were abnormal, but Hayley was discharged the next day without the cause of her symptoms being fully established.

She attended a community midwife appointment on June 11, during which she complained of continued pain and bleeding, but she wasn’t referred to hospital.

Her symptoms continued and she was re-admitted to hospital on June 12, 2020.

Within 10 minutes she had been told the news that her son Zaiyan had died.

Hayley was induced and delivered Zaiyan around six hours later.

She said: "I could still feel Zaiyan moving and hoped everything would be okay but deep down I was scared and thought being in hospital would be the best place for me.

“When I was re-admitted to hospital it was only a few minutes before I was told my baby had died. At that point my world crumbled."

Following delivery, she was transferred to intensive care after concerns were raised about her abnormal liver function and a possible diagnosis of AFLP.

Three days later she was transferred to hospital in Birmingham for specialist treatment where she spent four days in an induced coma.

Hayley made an official complaint to Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, which runs Prince Charles Hospital.

But after believing the Board was taking too long to deal with her complaint, she instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to secure answers.

Two years on, an investigation report by the Board found six care problems in Hayley’s care.

As well as the care problems, the report found a root cause of Zaiyan’s death was a missed diagnosis of AFLP.

Hayley added: “Attempting to try and grieve for him has been made all the harder by having so many questions and concerns about what happened.

"However, after everything I’d gone through, I still felt like I wasn’t being listened to.

"Even after lodging an official complaint I tried several times to contact the hospital to try and get some answers.

"Each time my details were taken and I was told someone would get back to me but they never did.

“It got to the point where I started questioning myself wondering whether I could have done something different.

"It felt like my concerns were only taken seriously after launching a legal case.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get over the pain of losing Zaiyan and only wish he was at home with us growing and developing.

"I know nothing can turn back the clock and while they’re incredibly upsetting and distressing, I take some small comfort from at least now having some of the answers that I and Zaiyan deserve.

“All I can hope for now is that lessons are learned from not only my care but also how families going through the most difficult of times rightly have questions around what happened.

"Health boards and trusts need to ensure families are treated with compassion and listened to so they can be provided with answers without having to fight for them.”

Eleri Davies from Irwin Mitchell said: "The findings of this report make for harrowing reading with the Health Board identifying a number of worrying issues in Hayley’s care.

“While we welcome the Board’s pledge to learn lessons it’s now vital that these are upheld at all times to improve maternity safety."

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