Parents begged newborn triplet be moved after brothers died, Letby trial hears
The parents of a newborn triplet begged he be moved to another hospital after his two brothers died within 24 hours, the murder trial of Lucy Letby heard.
Letby, 33, is said to have murdered the infants, Child O and Child P, on successive days at the Countess of Chester Hospital in June 2016.
Child P died as he awaited transfer following a series of unexplained collapses on June 24.
A day earlier Child O was pronounced dead after he too suffered a number of collapses.
The parents of both boys pleaded with a transport ambulance team to take the surviving identical triplet with them on June 24, Manchester Crown Court was told.
The boys' father later told police: “While they were there we begged for them to take (the triplet).
“We said ‘there is no way he is staying at this hospital, you've got to take him otherwise we are going to take him ourselves'.”
A doctor on the transport team agreed and the boys' mother discharged herself after giving birth to the triplets just three days earlier, the court heard.
In a statement read to the court, the boys' mother said a doctor visited her on the labour ward on June 23 and told her Child O's stomach had swollen but said “there was nothing to worry about”.
Shortly after she and her partner were greeted with a “scene of chaos” in intensive care nursery room 1 with “lots of medical staff rushing around” the cot of Child O.
She said: “The staff seemed to be in a state of panic and didn't appear controlled at all.”
She said she sat outside the nursery in her wheelchair as “I couldn't bring myself to go closer”.
Child O kept arresting, she said, and he “changed colour which I later saw with (Child P)” before he later died.
She said: “This whole episode had come like a bolt out of the blue. On the face of it everything seemed to be going well for the boys.
“It was never explained to us how this sudden downturn had happened. As a family we were devastated.
“We kept seeking reassurance that the other two boys were OK and the staff said they were fine.”
The following morning they checked on their wellbeing with a night shift nurse who told them they had been “little angels and had fed well”.
Several hours later a midwife came into the family room and said Child P was “really poorly” and they needed to go immediately to the neo-natal unit, she said.
She said: “I was devastated. I called my mum to tell her it was happening again.”
Child P was in nursery room 2 and “everyone was running around again”, she said.
The plan was to transfer Child P to another hospital where more advanced intensive care could be provided, the court heard.
Medics appeared to be trying to stabilise him ahead of the move but he “kept collapsing”, she said.
Following Child P's death she said Letby was “extremely upset and emotional”.
The boys' mother added: “She was in pieces, almost as upset as we were.”
Letby brought Child O and P in a cooling Moses basket to them before they left Chester, she said.
She had dressed Child P and taken photographs of the boys for a “memory box” that was routinely given to bereaved parents, the court heard.
The boys' mother said: “She was in floods of tears.”
Letby, originally from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.