Skip to main content

Harry’s story

Harry and Nicky LyonNicky Lyon shares her son Harry’s story, in support of the Each Baby Counts project.

My son, Harry, was born with profound brain damage due to lack of oxygen at birth after what should have been a ‘normal’ hospital labour. I was ‘low risk’, had no problems during pregnancy and did everything I could to be healthy and protect my baby. I went into labour at 10 days overdue, rang the hospital and went in when advised.

There was little communication or care from the midwife and we were left on our own even in the late stages of the labour. The registrar didn’t come back to review the heart trace when she was supposed to, and when she did come she looked exhausted. She then saw how bad Harry’s heart trace was and tried to deliver him immediately, but it was too late.

Harry was resuscitated and put on a ventilator. When Harry was 4 weeks old we were told he had profound brain damage due to the lack of oxygen at birth and were given the devastating news that he would never walk, talk or be able to feed normally.

An investigation concluded that the CTG (heart trace) had not been read correctly and NICE guidelines for care in labour had not been followed.

After a difficult life of tube feeding, constant sickness, fits and discomfort, our son died of a chest infection aged 18 months. As a family we have been left devastated at the loss of our beautiful boy.

Since Harry’s death, along with another bereaved mum, I have set up the Campaign for Safer Births to call for improvements in order to reduce the avoidable deaths and injuries of babies and mothers during labour.

I’m so pleased that the RCOG has decided to take action on this issue with the Each Baby Counts project. Success of this project will mean hundreds of babies’ lives will be saved and families will not have to experience the terrible pain and heartache that we have suffered.