A fatal error by hospital staff meant little Ava would be born with serious brain damage after being starved of oxygen while in her mother's womb in July 2014.
Hospital officials at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Manchester have finally apologized for the hospital's failings which ultimately led to Joanne Farra's infant daughter's death. Farra and her husband, James Farra, say they waited three years for the apology from the hospital and now they are seeking to stop the same mistakes from repeating.
Farra knew she was in labor after she began experiencing severe pain and discomfort in July 2014 but when she arrived at Stepping Hill Hospital doctors reportedly told her she had an infection and was just constipated as a result. The 41-year-old mother of two says she was dismissed by one staff member as a "time-waster".
The Hospital staff didn't recognize she was in labor until she started bleeding. Farra underwent a cesarean section and gave birth to her daughter Ava. The Farra's joy didn't last long when they discovered their baby had suffered severe brain damage during delivery. The parents were eventually forced to make a heart-breaking decision to turn off their newborn daughter's life-support.
An autopsy revealed that despite Ava being fully developed at the time of her birth, evidence suggested she had been deprived of oxygen. Farra says, "I did everything I was told by hospital staff, so was stunned when I had some issues with them. At one point I overheard a doctor refusing to examine me and calling me a “time-waster”, while it was also suggested that I have a natural birth despite the issues with my previous pregnancies. It was an incredibly upsetting time."
An inquest was conducted into the event and a conclusion was reached that Ava died of natural causes, contributed to by neglect. The couple hired attorneys from Irwin Mitchell to help them hold Stepping Hill accountable for their actions and a settlement was reached with the hospital.
The Farras also received a letter of apology from Ann Barnes, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, that read, "I deeply regret that the standard of care that your daughter received was inadequate and I would like to take this time to express my deepest sympathy on the loss of your daughter and the distress that this and subsequent investigations have caused you and your family."
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