SALLY Rowlette’s husband, Sean, has spoken of how his life has been turned upside down by the death of his wife.
He has been left to raise four children on his own – Leanne (9), Abbie (7), Joseph (4) and 21-month-old Sally.
“It has been very hard on us since Sally’s death,” said the 39-year-old site engineer. “Sally was incredible around the house and I am really struggling to fill her shoes. I have had to learn to cook. I find it very difficult to take care of the kids.
“I tried to go back to work after a year but it was impossible. My family and Sally’s family have been incredible, but I also needed childcare and you would need two salaries for that. I’m at home with them now.
“We’ve all been affected by Sally’s death. When one of the kids asks about Sally, it’s hard to answer without breaking down. They’re naturally curious about what Sally liked to do and what sort of person she was.
“The kids find it very difficult without their mum. Leanne doesn’t mention her as much and is very quiet. It’s heartbreaking.
“Abbie talks about her and she, Leanne and Joseph say goodnight to their mother every night. They all have her picture beside their beds. I want them to remember their mum, and they do.
“It’s terrible that baby Sally never knew her mother. We had agreed to call the baby Shauna but, after Sally’s death, Sally seemed the most appropriate name.”
Sean met his wife at Easkey Vocational School, where he was a year ahead of her.
“We were childhood sweethearts. We dated for nine years before we got married. We built a house before we got married and moved in afterwards. We were a traditional family. Sally was fully in charge of the household,” he said.
“She was a wonderful wife and a wonderful mother to our children. She cooked all our meals and kept the house immaculately clean. Sally worked in Abbott’s for 14 years but she gave up her job to take care of our children.
“She and I had planned to spend the rest of our lives together and to grow old watching our children grow up and lead their own lives. We continue to celebrate events such as birthdays and Christmas, but these events are always tinged with sadness as I know Sally should be present to share in them.”
At the inquest, Sean broke down as he gave his evidence and could not continue. It was too much for him. Last night, however, he said he felt he had finally found out how his wife had died.
“It was much worse than even I had thought,” he said. “Sally and I didn’t know about HELLP syndrome after Abbie was born. We were never told. I know she would never have risked her health or that of another baby had she known, and we would have taken the decision not to have more children.
“I’ve heard experts say now that Sally should have been taken in earlier and the pregnancy induced. Dr Murshid Ismail didn’t do that. And he wasn’t here to be questioned about that.
“There were high blood pressure warnings weeks earlier and nothing was done. It was clear too from listening to Dr Boylan that Sally should have been treated more quickly and more effectively.
“There was no ICU consultant on duty during the critical hours when Sally’s condition worsened. That is unacceptable. Dr Boylan said it was disappointing. It was terrible.
“I just wanted this case out in the public because if it saves some other family going through what we have gone through then that would be a good thing.
“I hope one day I can sit my three girls and my boy down and tell them what happened to their mum. I feel now, thanks to my solicitors Roger Murray and Damian Tansey, that I have the information to do that.
“It would have been Sally’s 38th birthday on December 12. I wish she was here with us all.”