Hospital investigating baby death

IPSWICH Hospital has launched an investigation in an allegation of lack of care after a baby died at birth. Heartbroken mother Lizzy Eley has pledged to leave no stone unturned in her bid to find out why her 9lb 4oz son died.

IPSWICH Hospital has launched an investigation in an allegation of lack of care after a baby died at birth.

Heartbroken mother Lizzy Eley has pledged to leave no stone unturned in her bid to find out why her 9lb 4oz son died.

Miss Eley, of Woodbridge, said: “We want answers so that this never has to happen to anyone again.”

She has now launched a fundraising campaign in her son's name to buy equipment for the maternity unit at Ipswich Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, confirmed a complaint had been received.

Miss Eley, 35, and her partner Declan Ling, a 35-year-old builder, have a four-year-old son Dylan and the family was eagerly anticipating the birth of the second child last May.

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Miss Eley was 10 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 - they arrived at 10.20am - and Miss Eley was on a post-natal ward during her labour.

She said: “At 7.04pm on May 16 Ottis was born with no heartbeat, he had died in explusion. We left at about 10.45pm after several tests had been done.

“It was the worst day of our lives. I could not understand why it had happened and since that day we have been questioning the hospital and asking for answers.”

The couple are both former pupils of Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, and they have been together for ten years.

Miss Eley said: “This has been a life-changing experience and it has tested every relationship that we have in our lives. It has just been hell and we just do not feel we have had a chance to have a bereavement because of ongoing issues.

“It has affected our health, physically and psychologically, but fortunately Declan and I are best friends as well, we communicate very well and are blessed to have each other.

“We have now set up the Ottis Fund - this will be his little legacy. One of the issues that we found at the hospital was a lack of equipment so we want to make sure that no other parents have to suffer the way we have done. I feel duty bound to do this.”

She said that an inquest was not held because as Ottis did not breathe, then he was not recognised as a human being by law. She added that the post mortem declared that Ottis was a healthy baby and could not find a cause of death.

Miss Eley, who owns the Hairways salon at Ufford Park Hotel, has met with Andrew Reed, chief executive at Ipswich Hospital, to express her concerns about an alleged lack of care surrounding the birth of Ottis. She has also employed solicitors to act on her behalf during the investigation.

Jan Rowsell, a spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are very grateful to Miss Eley for her kindness in fundraising for the unit and feel it is particularly generous of her given the experience she had.

“We are very sorry that Miss Eley had the experience she did and have endeavoured to give her a full explanation of what happened and why.

“We can not comment further on the allegations of lack of care because we are currently investigating the complaint.”

Ottis has been buried at the church in Old Martlesham next to Miss Eley's mother Anne Sheldrake, who used to run the Toytown shop in Church Street, Woodbridge.

The first fund raising event took place at Ufford Park Hotel where Miss Eley shaved the head of John Aldous, brother of the hotel owner Colin Aldous.

She is going to have a quiz at the hotel on April 4, a ball at Wantisden Valley on November 8 and she will design a maternity calendar.

Miss Eley, who is expecting a baby in May, said: “I have a loyal bunch of clients at the hair salon and they have expressed utter disbelief that in 2007 this could have happened. They have helped me get through the last year, they have done my counselling.”

Anyone who would like to contribute to the fund is asked to send a cheque made payable to the Ottis Fund to Lizzy Eley, Hairways, Ufford Park Hotel, near Woodbridge. IP12 1QW.

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