Hospital benefits from charity events

WHY did little Ottis die?That is still the question haunting a Suffolk mum who is raising as much cash as possible in memory of the baby she loved so much.

ON the outside Lizzie Eley, Declan Ling and their children Dylan and baby Ruby seem like one big happy family.

But their smiles mask a tragic story which saw the death of Lizzie and Declan's child Ottis who died during his birth in May 2007.

His death is still a mystery and the family is currently in a legal battle with Ipswich Hospital due to the circumstances, but this has not stopped the couple raising thousands of pounds for the maternity unit in their baby's memory.

With six month old Ruby helping them look to the future the couple have now launched a charity calendar in Ottis's name.

They have already raised £10,000 from a ball last weekend to go to the Ottis Fund which will buy vital equipment for the hospital.

Miss Eley, 36 is keen to highlight the problems of understaffing in maternity units and The Evening Star recently revealed Ipswich Hospital is struggling to cope with an increase in the number of births at the hospital, with more midwives needed to reach national standards.

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She said: “I felt the need to raise money to get me through the early dark days.

“One of the problems with the care had been a lack of equipment so I wanted to make a difference and try to stop giving birth being so dangerous in Britain today.

“We have already raised £10,000 and we want to get it to £20,000 or £30,000. It would be phenomenal.”

Miss Eley, who lives in Woodbridge with her partner, Declan Ling, 36, five-year-old Dylan and baby Ruby, said the family was still involved in litigation with the hospital.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We are not able to comment on the specific allegations about aspects of treatment and care. This is because legal procedures are in place.

“What are able to do is thank the family for their immense generosity, it is very much appreciated. Community midwifery staff are working with the family to see that they would like the money to be spent on.”

For more information about the calendar or to support the cause visit

Have you experienced good or bad care at Ipswich Hospital's midwifery department? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

The tragedy

LIZZY Eley has pledged to leave no stone unturned in her bid to find out why her beloved son Ottis died.

Miss Eley and her partner Declan Ling were eagerly anticipating the birth of the second child in May 2007.

Miss Eley was ten days overdue when she woke on May 16 with a high temperature and she was advised to go into hospital.

Mr Ling drove her to hospital and Miss Eley was on a post-natal ward during her labour.

At just after 7pm Ottis was born with no heartbeat. He had died during birth.

An inquest was not held because as Ottis did not breathe he was not recognised as a human being by law.

The post mortem declared that Ottis was a healthy baby and could not find a cause of death.

Miss Eley has since met with the hospital's chief executive, Andrew Reed, to discuss her concerns, and has employed a solicitor to act on the family's behalf.

She believes the maternity unit was understaffed on the day she gave birth and did not provide the best possible care.