Wednesday 23 October 2019

'We never expected that his life would be so short' - parents of baby who died on their first wedding anniversary hope inquest can bring answers

05/03/2019 Simon McMahon & Sorcha McMahon at the Inquest into the death of their son Henry at the Coroners Court, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
05/03/2019 Simon McMahon & Sorcha McMahon at the Inquest into the death of their son Henry at the Coroners Court, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Louise Roseingrave

The parents of a newborn who died on their wedding anniversary hope an inquest into their baby's death can help answer their questions.

The newly married parents lost their first baby just six days after his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in Dublin. Baby Henry John McMahon was born on September 18 2017 but died just days later on his parent’s first wedding anniversary.

Baby Henry John suffered from a congenital heart condition and his parents were alerted to this at an early stage. The parents said they were advised his condition, hypoplastic left heart syndrome was operable and surgery carried high success rates.

They expected their baby to live a full life. The condition is rare and leaves the left side of the heart severely underdeveloped.

05/03/2019 A Photo of Henry McMahon giving by parents Simon McMahon & Sorcha McMahon at the Inquest into the death of their son Henry in the Coroners Court, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
05/03/2019 A Photo of Henry McMahon giving by parents Simon McMahon & Sorcha McMahon at the Inquest into the death of their son Henry in the Coroners Court, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Parents Simon and Sorcha McMahon, from Stillorgan, attended a preliminary hearing into their baby’s death at Dublin Coroner’s Court where a date was set for a full inquest. Speaking afterwards, the couple said they want to know why they lost their baby boy.

“We knew our baby boy’s life wasn’t going to be without some challenges but we also knew that modern medicine could meet them.

“Simon and I never expected that his life would be so short and to have been so full of trauma and pain," Sorcha McMahon said, describing the delivery as 'traumatic.'

“Our darling baby boy Henry John died six days after his delivery, the day of our first wedding anniversary September 23 2017.

“We just want answers now, as to how and why his life ended the way it did,” Mrs McMahon said.

The couple and the infant’s grandfather attended the hearing before Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane along with their legal representatives. A list of witnesses has been drawn up and circulated to all parties involved.

Witnesses include a number of nursing staff and midwives, doctors and pathologist Dr Michael McDermott. Consulted neuropathologist Dr Jane Cryan was added to the witness list at the request of the family’s legal team. Dr Cryan contributed to Dr McDermott’s autopsy report.

Coroner Dr Cullinane allocated two dates in July for the full inquest hearing.

“I am allocating one and half days, possibly two, it is hard to judge but the case certainly requires more than one date,” the coroner said.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at Dublin Coroner’s Court on July 8 and 9 next.

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