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Sunday 22 October 2017

Pregnancy put us on 'top of the world', says Savita's husband

Savita Halappanavar
Galway University Hospital where the woman died
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

THE husband of a pregnant woman who died in hospital has told how they were on "top of the world" after learning of her pregnancy.

Savita Halappanavar (31) died in Galway University Hospital following a miscarriage after her family had requested an abortion when it became clear her baby could not survive.

It is understood the married woman, who was 17-weeks pregnant, died from blood poisoning.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, who works for Boston Scientific in Galway, said they had held a baby shower with her mother and friends.

“She was fine, so happy,” the 34-year-old said. However, after his wife later developed back pain and was in distress they visited Galway University Hospital.

“A doctor took a while to do some tests, I was called in I could see Savita in tears she was in shock. He told me there was cervical dilation and they don’t think the baby will survive and there is no way to revert back. He said unfortunately I’m sorry I can’t save the baby,” her husband told RTE’s News at One.

After she was found to be miscarrying, her husband asked for a medical termination to be carried out over three days but were refused because a foetal heartbeat was still present.

Her husband told how her condition began to deteriorate a few days later and she began to feel cold and unwell. “The last time I talked to her was in ICU,” he said. “At around one o’clock the nurse came running and I was standing outside ICU, she told me to brave and took me into Savita.” He said as the emergency team tried to save her life.

“The doctor told me he’d just lost her,” Mr Halappanavar said, as he spoke from India where he had brought his wife’s remains for burial.

Three investigations are being carried out into her death by the Coroner in Galway, the hosital’s risk review group and the HSE’s National Incident Management Team.

The case has already sparked debate over the right to an abortion where not having one might endanger the life of the mother.

Meanwhile, streets surrounding the Dail were shut down and traffic ground to a halt during rush-hour tonight as around 2,000 demonstrators staged a spontaneous protest.

Kildare Street and Molesworth Street were flooded with protesters who listened to speeches from pro-choice campaigners, before sitting down for a minute's silence.

Elsewhere, supporters in Cork held a candlelight vigil at the city's Opera House in memory of Mrs Halappanavar.

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