A grieving mother in Britain has accused doctors at a hospital of negligence, claiming that her baby died just 12 days after being born because the doctors kept on canceling a life-saving heart surgery as they thought it was not an emergency case.
Danielle Gatehouse, 23, was induced to give birth after 38 weeks after doctors at the Bristol's St Michael's Hospital after they detected a heart defect in the unborn baby. Danielle's son, Harley, was born with just half a heart and was transferred to the Bristol Children's Hospital where the mother was told that Harley would be requiring three operations in order to insert a shunt that could help improve the blood flow.
When Danielle and her partner Lee Pascoe arrived at the hospital on Monday, they were told that the surgery has been postponed for three days. It was once again postponed on Wednesday, Friday and then for a fourth time on Sunday. When asked for the reason of postponement, the Hospital Trust reportedly told Danielle that it was "postponed because he was in a stable condition and they needed to prioritize children with more critical heart disease requiring urgent treatment".
The baby's condition continued to deteriorate during the period and it was not until next Monday, when the situation was serious enough to warrant a surgery, did the doctors rush Harley into the operation theatre, though he died six hours after he was operated on, after his blood pressure dropped and the doctors were not able to revive him.
Blaming the doctors for his death, Danielle said, "We were at his bedside day in, day out, seeing him getting weaker. Yet doctors were repeatedly telling us Harley was not ill enough. How sick did our baby have to be? He had half a heart - it doesn't get much worse than that. I can't forgive the hospital for how it treated my baby. Five times in a week his operation was cancelled. After they eventually operated, we stroked his tiny hand, whispered to him that we were so proud of how brave he'd been and loved him so much".