Wednesday 16 April 2014

Inquest over mum (36) who died hours after giving birth

Husband and wife Sean and Sally Rowlette pictured in happier times. Sally died from a sever form of pre-eclampsia. Pic from Greg Harkin. See his story 17/12/2013
Husband and wife Sean and Sally Rowlette pictured in happier times.

A CORONER will hold an inquest next month into the death of a woman who died from a rare illness just hours after giving birth.

Sally Rowlette, (36), died from HELLP syndrome, a form of pre-eclampsia. She's the second mother to die from this condition after being treated at Sligo General Hospital.

A lawyer acting for the families of both women says the illness has a mortality rate of less than 1pc in the developed world.

Mrs Rowlette left behind husband Sean and four children -- Leanne (8), Abbie (6), Joseph (3) and 10-month old Sally Jnr, who was born at the hospital last February just hours before her mother's death.

Dhara Kivlehan died from the same illness after giving birth at the hospital three years ago. Last month, the HSE apologised to her husband Michael and awarded their son Dior €800,000 in damages.

Widower Sean Rowlette (38), from Dromore West in Co Sligo, said: "We are extremely anxious to get answers to the questions we have in relation to the circumstances of Sally's death."


Family solicitor Roger Murray said Mrs Rowlette died on February 5. She had been admitted to Sligo General at 1.45am the day before.

"She was 39 weeks pregnant. Her blood pressure was extremely high and the baby's heartbeat had dropped to a dangerously low level," he said.

"Sally was taken to theatre and her baby daughter was delivered at 2.45am."

Despite being taken to intensive care, Mrs Rowlette died later.

Sligo Coroner Dr Desmond Moran confirmed an inquest will be held into her death, in late January.

Mr Murray said Sally's condition deteriorated quickly after giving birth.

He said a CT scan found bleeding in her brain. Assistance was sought from experts at Beaumont Hospital, but a hospital transfer was ruled out because the mother of four was too ill. She died the next day.

"HELLP Syndrome is a severe and life-threatening condition but expert evidence suggests that, if treated appropriately, it has a mortality rate of less than 1pc in the developed world," said Mr Murray.

The HSE refused to comment on the Rowlette case.

Irish Independent

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