Mum whose daughter was stillborn fundraises to help families affected by baby loss

A Soham mum whose baby was delivered stillborn following failings in her care is fundraising to help others affected by baby deaths.

As part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Emma Tiley is offering to run a kilometre in memory of babies and break the “taboo” associated with neonatal deaths.

Emma’s daughter, Rosie, died in July 2014, after The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge did not adequately monitor her prior to her daughter’s birth.

Emma, 34, and husband Carl, 36, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done to help Rosie.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, admitted failings in Rosie’s care and agreed to pay the couple a settlement.

Emma has now launched her Kilometres for Memories challenge and is asking people affected by baby loss to ask her to run 1,000 metres in memory of their child. Proceeds will be donated to Petals, a baby loss counselling charity.

Amie Minns, the specialist medical negligence lawyer from Irwin Mitchell who represented Emma, said: “Emma has faced an incredibly difficult few years as she attempted to come to terms with what happened and how Rosie could have survived if it was not for issues in the family’s care.

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“Sadly, through our work, we see the pain and suffering that families experience because stillbirths and neonatal deaths are still a significant issue in the UK.

“While nothing can replace the pain and suffering Emma has been through her determination to try and find some good from what happened is a credit to her.

“These are particularly challenging times for the charity sector which is facing a significant funding shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We hope as many people as possible support Emma’s fundraising drive to raise awareness of the help and support that’s available to people following the loss of a baby.”

Then Emma Wallis - Carl and Emma married last summer - she was admitted to The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge on 27 June, 2014, when her waters broke at 27 weeks, but labour failed to progress.

Emma began to feel unwell and on 3 July she was advised she would undergo a caesarean section the following morning with a plan that she would be transferred to the delivery ward when possible.

Early on July 4 medical staff could not find the baby’s heartbeat and Emma was informed that her unborn daughter Rosie had died.

Following Rosie’s death, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust conducted an investigation which found that she had died from “overwhelming sepsis.”

Emma initially accepted the results of the investigation. However, when her second son Rory was born, he spent time in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

A serious incident investigation carried out by the Trust found a “failure” by the same hospital to follow up a positive test result for Group B streptococcus.

Emma also learned of other families whose babies had been born early with infection but had survived.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which admitted a “failure to provide a standard of treatment which could be reasonably expected” regarding the care Emma and Rosie received.

The Trust said that Emma should have been transferred to the delivery unit by 2am on July 4, which was not undertaken.

It further admitted that at the very least Emma should have been given enhanced care and monitoring during the early hours of July 4, with frequent checking of Rosie’s heartbeat as a minimum.

Emma, who has two sons, River, 11, and four-year-old Rory, works as an ambassador for a well-known high street cosmetics company.

She said: “More than four years on the pain of losing Rosie and the fact more could have been done to help her still remains.

“It’s a pain that’s difficult to describe and one that I wouldn’t wish anyone to have to go through.

“It’s difficult not to think of how Rosie would be developing and the mischief she would be creating with her brothers.

“However, people shouldn’t feel that losing a baby is their fault or something they have to go through alone.

“I’m into running and keeping active so I thought that this challenge would be a great way of raising awareness.

“Losing a baby is a club none of us want to be in. It’s grief like no other but together we can break the silence and the taboo that still surrounds the issue.

“Petals helped me through a terrible time in my life. I want to do what I can to ensure they are able to support others too.”

Emma has so far raised £100 for Petals. People wanting to donate or people wanting Emma to run a kilometre in memory of their baby can message her via her Just Giving page.

Emma also runs her own group on Facebook called Rosie’s Angel Gowns, making gowns for babies to be laid to rest in. The gowns are made from the wedding dresses of mothers who have lost their babies and donated to local hospitals.

Emma already donates to The Rosie Hospital and requests that any other hospitals or parents in need of angel gowns make contact through her Facebook page.