A DEVASTATED mum says she gave birth to her stillborn baby after she was twice turned away from hospital.
Stela Ernu, 31, was nearly two weeks overdue when she underwent a 54-hour labour to her son Lucas.
The heartbroken mum from Aveley, Essex, claims staff at Basildon University Hospital turned her away on two occasions.
An investigation launched six months ago is yet to provide answers to the grieving family.
Stela, who lives with her husband George and daughter Emeilia, 12, said: “As a woman giving birth you can’t wait to get that baby in your arms.
“Having to go through labour knowing that your baby is dead was the worst thing that you can possibly imagine and the most horrific thing that has ever happened to me.
“I was pushing, still hopeful that somehow my baby was alive.”
‘I WAS READY TO GIVE BIRTH’
Stela says she was told she’d be induced on March 12 this year, when she was 12 days overdue.
After experiencing contractions she went into the hospital, but a scan suggested that her due date was slightly later.
The hospital sent her home, telling her to return in three days, she claims.
But the next day her contractions had got worse, and they returned the next morning.
“I felt like was ready to give birth and didn’t want to go home,” she said.
Stela says that her contractions were very pronounced but claims she was told by a midwife that “they weren’t frequent enough”.
She claims to have asked if there could be any risk to the baby, but says she reassured a late birth was “100 per cent fine” and was sent home with co-codamol.
Later that evening Stela went in for the third time – and was told her baby was no longer alive.
“When the doctor came, she asked when my waters had broke and I said I didn’t notice that they had.
“She said that she was really sorry, but there wasn’t enough water and that my baby wasn’t there any more. I started screaming and crying, saying that that wasn’t possible.
“I was asking if there was any way that they could perform a C-section on me to see if he was still alive as maybe his heart had just stopped. The doctor said she was sorry and immediately left the room.”
DESPERATE FOR ANSWERS
Stela was then told she had to give birth to her lifeless son.
“They handed his little body to me and I was glad to be able to hold my little Lucas,” she said. “I kept him in a cot next to me until the morning.”
She added: “There were people everywhere trying to help once I lost my baby, but it made me really angry, as where were they when he was still alive?”
In July, a coroner ruled that the hospital’s “neglect” had contributed to the death of one-day-old Ennis Pecaku in September last year.
The Care Quality Commission said in the same month that there had been a “decline in safety practices” in the maternity department.
Stephanie Prior, head of clinical negligence at London law firm Osbornes Law, who are representing Stela, said: “This is a tragic case of a young mum who had no complications throughout her pregnancy, but then suffered the devastation of having her son stillborn.
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“Ms Ernu is desperate for answers about why she lost her son and we would urge those conducting the investigation to publish their findings as soon as possible.”
Chief nursing officer Diane Sarkar said: “We offer our sincerest condolences to Stela Ernu and the family of baby Ernu at this extremely difficult time.
“A full investigation is currently being conducted externally to the trust by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB).
“We do not have the report at this time and cannot comment further until this investigation has been completed.”
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