Inquest opens into mum and baby deaths

Inquest opens into mum and baby deaths

The partner of a pregnant east Belfast woman who died from a rare blood disorder has told an inquest into her death how he will never forget being told that she and their baby son were dead.

On Monday, Coroner John Leckey said that the inquest into the death of 36-year-old Cara Officer in June 2011 would also include that of her son Ewan.It marks the first time there has been an inquest in Northern Ireland into the still birth of a baby.Cara was 26 weeks pregnant when she and her son both died at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.The inquest heard that Cara - who also had a daughter - had spent up to five hours in the Day Obstetrics unit at the hospital on the Tuesday before her death. She had been complaining of a headache and numbness in her face.Her partner Ryan McDougall told the inquest that "her lips seemed blue, her speech slurred, and her face droopy".He said that Cara had been monitored to check the baby's heartbeat, and that a doctor's examination involved testing her reflexes and giving her two painkillers before the couple left at 10.20pm that night.The court heard that when Ryan got home from work three days later, he was concerned enough about Cara - who was still unwell - to phone the hospital.A lawyer for the South Eastern Health Trust said that the midwife they spoke to did her best to get Cara to go to hospital, even suggesting a ambulance so she would be seen straight away.Ryan explained to the court that, because Cara had been there for almost five hours on Tuesday night, she didn't want to go again.He said that he then phoned 999 on the Sunday as he knew there was something seriously wrong.Ryan said: "I will never forget until the day I die being told the news both were dead."The inquest continues.


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