Suffolk couple still seek answers over death of baby William
- Credit: Knight family
A couple has urged others who have lost a baby to speak out about the experience in a bid to stop the loneliness that comes with the tragedy.
Rachael and Julian Knights have revealed how they were stunned to be told their son William had died after he was delivered with forceps at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) late on November 19, 2015.
Mrs Knights said: 'I had absolutely no concerns about my care throughout the morning and it was only from the early afternoon that I became aware of a lot more examinations being carried out.
'The heightened attention I was being given, coupled with the lack of explanation as to why I was getting the attention, was very concerning and unsettling.'
Mrs Knights: 'I was told prior to the delivery William might need a little bit of care when he was born and then he would be passed to me and when he came out he was given to the waiting team.
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'However, there was some commotion and confusion and finally a doctor said he had died. I instantly just felt sick.
'It has been incredibly difficult to deal with the loss of William and while we have been fortunate to have another healthy baby boy in recent weeks, we are yet to come to terms with what happened two years ago.'
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She said since the couple, who live near Beccles, watched a film called Stillborn Still Loved, they were able to start on the road to recovery as they realised others had experienced the devastating loss.
But she said the experience had been worsened by people's reactions.
Mr Knights added: 'We were left picking up the pieces. There's a lack of understanding for parents, for everyone. He was so very nearly here, we just don't want this to happen to anyone else.'
Mrs Knights said: 'Friends don't know what to say, or if someone asks if you have any children you don't want to say no. But everyone else talks about their children.'
She said her message would be to fight if you think things aren't right, and for others to know they are not alone.
'Don't be ashamed of your story, there will be people who stay with you and people who fall to the side - that's up to them.'
Following William's death, a serious incident report by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust highlighted a series of concerns related to the care Mrs Knights and William received.
These included communication issues which meant a concerning foetal heart monitoring trace was not shared with senior doctors and also that there was a failure to repeat tests which may have led to an emergency caesarean being undertaken and the earlier delivery of William. The couple have now sought legal advice, in a bid to get more answers. Because William was stillborn there would not be an inquest into his death - something campaigners wish to change if there are no prior signs of problems.
A spokesman for the NNUH said: 'We met Rachael and Julian Knight following William's death to offer our sincere condolences for their sad and tragic loss. Because of the ongoing legal proceedings we are unable to comment further.'
Gurpreet Lalli, the specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell's Cambridge office who is representing the family, said: 'No parent should have to face that Rachael and Julian have been through and, while the report into the incident has shed some light on what happened, they are understandably keen for more answers about the issues which led to William's death.
'It is absolutely vital that every effort is made to prevent the same issues Rachael and Julian have faced from being repeated again in the future.'
• Baby Loss Awareness Week runs to October 15, for help contact Time Norfolk on 01603 927487 or firstname.lastname@example.org