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Thursday, 27 September 2018

'I've fixed him': Devastated mother whose baby was decapitated during botched birth reveals doctor reattached her dead son's head before handing him to her to hold for the first time

  • Laura Gallazzi was just over 25 weeks pregnant when her baby was delivered 
  • She had expected to have a caesarean as the baby was in breech position
  • But Dr Vaishnavy Vilvanathan Laxman proceeded with a regular delivery
  • Baby's head became trapped during birth at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee
  • Steven's head was sewn back on to his body so mother could hug and kiss him
A new mother whose baby was decapitated during a botched delivery today revealed how a 'lovely' doctor reattached his head so she could kiss and cuddle him for the first time.
Laura Gallazzi, 24, was just over 25 weeks pregnant when her baby Steven died at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee in March 2014.
Today, while stroking the blue teddy containing her son's ashes, she told how she heard a stomach-churning 'pop' as the infant's legs, arms and torso became detached, leaving his head inside her womb.
She then underwent a Caesarean section to remove the head and it was sewn onto the tragic infant's body so that she could say goodbye.
Earlier this year, a tribunal cleared gynaecologist Dr Vaishnavy Laxman to go back to work, despite finding her culpable of medical failures during the 2014 procedure.
Miss Gallazzi, 34, told the BBC her baby's head was sewn back on by another medic so she could spend time with his body - but she initially said: 'I don't want to see him - don't bring him in here'.
But she added: 'The doctor, she was really lovely. She said, "it's alright". Her words were "I've fixed him".' I couldn't hold him properly but I was able to look at him, and kiss him and smell him. But it wasn't the same, it's not the same as what it should have been.' 
Ms Gallazzi was just over 25 weeks pregnantDr Vaishnavy Vilvanathan Laxman
Laura Gallazzi's son Steven died after he was decapitated during a botched delivery by Dr Vaishnavy Vilvanathan Laxman and the bereft mother revealed a differenr doctor sewed his head back on so she could cuddle him
She had expected to have a caesarean as the baby was in breech position but Dr Laxman proceeded with a regular delivery.
The baby's head became trapped during the birth and various techniques were tried to free it, but during this his 'head became detached from his body', a medical tribunal found.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MTPS) panel said he had died before this happened. 
Laura would later a blue teddy and Steven's cremated ashes were placed inside. 
Stroking the teddy she told BBC Scotland's Kaye Adams said: 'I felt a pop' - and initially looked at a ring on her hand believing it had snapped during labour.
She said:  'I'm thinking to myself, "well, what was that?"
"I felt nothing between my legs, so I thought 'I've done it. I've done it. My son's here'.
"I didn't hear him crying but I wasn't too worried about that because I knew he was so small.
"Then the room went into absolute chaos.
"People were rushing about. There was a guy who tried to go out the room. I caught his gaze.
"He kind of stopped, kind of turned back on himself and sort of continued doing what he was doing.
"The next word I heard was 'right push again'. And I'm thinking to myself 'why am I pushing again? I've done it'.
"I thought I'd done it. Then a couple of minutes later, it's 'oh, you're going to be put to sleep'."Ms Gallazzi has now launched a petition calling for stillborn babies to be given a legal identity
Ms Gallazzi has now launched a petition calling for stillborn babies to be given a legal identity
Ms Gallazzi said she was 'absolutely distraught' when she was told that her son had died
Ms Gallazzi said she was 'absolutely distraught' when she was told that her son had died
Ms Gallazzi added that when she first arrived at the hospital midwives helped her prepare for a premature birth and all seemed well. She told BBC Scotland: 'I was told my baby was OK.
'They wanted to keep him in my belly for as long as possible because he was in the best possible place - and I was in the hospital so I was in the best place.'
When she felt a tightening around her stomach she was moved to the labour suite as a precaution but the next day the umbilical cord emerged from the womb and medical staff sprang into action.
She told the broadcaster: 'I started screaming, panicking and shouting, hitting the buzzer and all these midwives came in.
'I was taken to the first available room, put on the bed, wheeled through to theatre, put on another bed.
'I heard something about being only being two to three centimetres. My son's heart rate was dipped but it was there.
'I was thinking to myself 'You have to stay calm, you have to stay calm for your son. You're in the right place, all these people know what they're doing. Just trust them'.'
'The doctor said 'Push' - and I'm thinking to myself 'No, I'm not in labour, I don't feel like I need to push'.'
Attempts to deliver the baby, named Steven, continued for another 20 to 25 minutes.
Ms Gallazzi said she was 'absolutely distraught' when she was told that her son had died.
The MTPS panel cleared Dr Laxman of serious misconduct. It said her fitness to practise was not impaired and ruled that she could return to work.
Ms Gallazzi has now launched a petition calling for a change in Scottish law to give stillborn babies a legal identity.

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