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Our little girl's death 'should be a game-changer', reveal heartbroken parents

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Ollie Kelly and partner Amy Delahunt pictured speaking to the Press at Limerick Court on Wednesday as a verdict of medical misadventure had been returned at an inquest into the death of their baby "Mary Kate Kelly" found to have no heartbeat at 34 weeks during a scan at Limerick Maternity Hospital on 22 May 2013.

Ollie Kelly and partner Amy Delahunt pictured speaking to the Press at Limerick Court on Wednesday as a verdict of medical misadventure had been returned at an inquest into the death of their baby "Mary Kate Kelly" found to have no heartbeat at 34 weeks during a scan at Limerick Maternity Hospital on 22 May 2013.

Ollie Kelly and partner Amy Delahunt pictured speaking to the Press at Limerick Court on Wednesday as a verdict of medical misadventure had been returned at an inquest into the death of their baby "Mary Kate Kelly" found to have no heartbeat at 34 weeks during a scan at Limerick Maternity Hospital on 22 May 2013.

A woman whose baby died a day after medics told her there were no concerns about her pregnancy at the Midland Regional Hospital hopes her daughter's death will be a "game changer" in making maternity services safer.

Amy Delahunt, from Borrisoleigh, Tipperary, heard from expert witnesses at the two day inquest into her daughter's death.

She heard how her baby, Mary Kate Kelly, would have been born alive had she been delivered when Ms Delahunt presented with concerns over reduced foetal movement.

The HSE has been told to urgently prioritise the need to learn lessons from patient fatalities and publish and adhere to guidelines on adequate staffing levels, following the inquest.

Verdict

These were some of 11 recommendations issued after a jury returned a verdict of medical misadventure in the death of Mary Kate Kelly, who was stillborn on May 28, 2013.

Ms Delahunt who was 34 weeks pregnant had visited the maternity unit at the Midlands General Hospital in Portlaoise on May 21 2013 when she was told everything was normal and sent home, even though a CTG showed significant decelerations on the foetal heart trace.

Tragically Ms Delahunt discovered at the Limerick Maternity Hospital the next day that her baby was dead.

Ms Delahunt and her partner Ollie Kelly only discovered last January that there were four other baby deaths at Portlaoise when she watched Prime Time.

Ms Delahunt explained in evidence how after years of wishing for a family she finally conceived with the help of IVF and she and her partner Ollie Kelly, shared their joyful news with their families on Christmas Day 2012.

"There's no Santa Claus coming to our house this year sadly, but today because of the verdict and because the inquest is finished we can have some closure. We know that the truth is out there, " said Ms Delahunt.

In an addendum to his original deposition, Dr Chuck Ugezu, the registrar who saw Ms Delahunt in Portlaoise on May 21 2013, admitted he ought to have insisted she be kept in for further observation.

Consultant Obstetrician Miriam Doyle also agreed under cross examination that had Mary Kate been delivered then she would have been born alive, but may not have been healthy.

Errors

Speaking after the inquest Ms Delahunt said the jury's verdict of medical misadventure acknowledged the fact that but for errors her little girl "would be here with us today".

"All we can hope for now is that her little life will be a game changer in making all maternity services in the country safe," she said.

Mr Kelly said they have to believe that the 11 jury reoccomendations might change the health care service.

"Our little girl's death has to mean something," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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