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Baby dies in horror birth at Royal

Tue, 10 Dec 2013
Horror birth at Belfast hospital

A distraught father is calling for an inquest into the death of his baby son after the horror of his traumatic birth at Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital - the details of which may disturb some viewers.

(Video guidance: Viewers should again be advised they may find some of the details of this story distressing.)

Patrick McCormack spoke to UTV just 24 hours after his girlfriend Louise gave birth to their son.

The baby had been only been given a 5% chance of survival, due to fluid gathering in his stomach, but nothing could have prepared the couple for the distressing birth.

As medical staff worked to deliver the baby, his father witnessed the moment the child's head came away from his body.

"I was just stunned," Mr McCormack tearfully recalled.

"A nurse who's been there for 35 years told me she's never seen anything like it in her life."

Still in shock, he felt he should be the one to tell his girlfriend what had happened.

"She said: 'Paddy, can I hold him?' And I broke down," he said.

"I had to sit and go through every detail with her."

I don't know if I'll ever get over it.

Patrick McCormack

A post mortem is being carried out, but the Belfast Trust believes that the baby was clinically dead at the point of delivery.

That will not be known for certain until the autopsy results are determined.

But Mr McCormack insists that he wants to ensure no other family has to live with the pain he and his girlfriend, who have named their little boy Liam James, are now enduring.

The couple had repeatedly requested a Caesarian section throughout the pregnancy, after being told from early on that there would be problems with the baby and the fluid gathering.

They were refused by medical staff who said it could lead to complications.

In a statement, the Belfast Trust offered heartfelt and sincere sympathies to the family.

"We do not underestimate how painful this situation is for them," a spokeswoman said.

"This has also been a harrowing time for our staff who, throughout a very unusual set of circumstances, have endeavoured to give the best possible care.

"They will continue to take all possible steps to help and support this family in the coming weeks."

It is understood that such cases are extremely rare and such an incident has not occurred in 15 years within the Belfast Trust area.

© UTV News

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