Life Health & Wellbeing

Saturday 24 August 2019

MP breaks down in tears over baby son's death in heartbreaking Commons speech

Antoinette Sandbach becomes tearful as she recalls the night her baby son died

Michael Wilkinson, Political Correspondent

A newly-elected MP battled back tears when she gave an emotional speech about the death of her baby son.

Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach recalled the night that her son died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 2009.

As she addressed fellow parliamentarians in the House of Commons on Monday night, the MP for Eddisbury became tearful.

She said: "The night my son died I woke to find him not breathing.

"Arriving at hospital, looking at a flatline in the ambulance for over 20 minutes, a crash team was waiting for me - but it was too late.

"The consultant neonatologist was calm and a reassuring presence and the nursing staff were patient.

"I readily agreed to a post-mortem, as I wanted to know exactly what had happened."

She added: "Staff at the hospital were wonderful but I found myself in a plain room with questions being asked of me. I was told that I had to wait for the police.

"I had left in such a panic that I had left my telephone behind and I couldn't remember any telephone numbers and was there on my own."

Ms Sandbach used the speech to call upon health minister Ben Gummer to protect psychological support for bereaved parents.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, broadly defined as the sudden and unexpected death of a baby for no obvious reason, is the leading cause of death in babies less than a year old. Most cases of SIDS occur between two and four months and are more prevalent in boys.

As she fought back tears, a fellow MP stepped in to praise her for an "emotional and powerful contribution."

She returned to speak, adding: "I arrived home later that morning to find the police officers going through my house," she said.

"Clearly they had to investigate as the death had been away from hospital, and I had to explain to my 6-year-old what had happened."

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