Grieving family bring twins home after death of mother in childbirth
A HEARTBROKEN family have spoken of their anguish at the death of a mother who gave birth to twins.
Carmel Sheridan (30) died on September 27 in Dublin's Coombe Hospital from complications that arose during the birth in a two day-ordeal.
Her partner, Gerard Martin, from Clondalkin in Dublin, brought the newborn twins home from hospital for the first time this week.
His mother, Ann Martin, spoke for the first time about the loss of Carmel, saying it was still "very raw and emotional" for the grieving family.
It could be months before the coroner's court determines the exact cause of death.
The twins, Luke and Carmel, were more than two months premature when they were born over the course of two days, between September 25 and 27. The births were more than 45 hours apart.
Ms Sheridan's death at the Coombe was one of two maternal deaths there at the end of September. In both cases, the deaths occurred shortly after the women had delivered their children by caesarean section.
Health Minister James Reilly recently said he was awaiting reports on the two deaths, which involved two different sets of doctors in separate theatres.
Ms Martin said that the whole family was devastated but that Gerard, a plumber by trade, was focusing on taking care of the babies and their 13-month-old sister, Aoibhe.
She said: "It has been very tough going. The twins are only back home and Gerard is back with me – he had to give up work to look after the kids.
"The twins are eight weeks now and they weren't even due until December. It is a full-time job looking after them."
She also revealed that Carmel and Gerard had decided to each name one of the twins.
"Gerard picked out Luke for the boy and Carmel couldn't decide, she kept changing. So (after her death) Gerard picked the name Carmel, after her mother."
She said Carmel's family, who live in Mayo, had been travelling back and forth to Dublin to visit the twins.
However, Ms Martin was not prepared to discuss the full circumstances surrounding Carmel's death.
The families are awaiting the coroner's results, which they have been told could take about five months.
The master of the Coombe Hospital, Dr Chris Fitzpatrick, along with the board, staff and management of the hospital, extended condolences to Carmel's family.
A hospital spokeswoman said: "The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital is committed to act in the best interests of each of its patients at all times.
"As patient welfare and privacy are top priorities at the hospital, it cannot comment on or discuss details of individual patients."
Prior to the two maternal deaths at the hospital in September, a woman who attended the Coombe died on December 9 last year in Tallaght Hospital.
No details of her circumstances have been released and the case was referred to the coroner's office.
The Coombe Hospital recorded five maternal deaths between 2000 and 2011 out of a total of 103,995 mothers delivered, a mortality rate of 0.005pc.
None of these deaths were directly related to pregnancy.