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£27k for our dead baby is an insult, says Lincolnshire couple

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

  • Compensation: Jane High with her partner Daniel Bee and children William, Emily and Megan

  • Anguish: Jane High with her surviving, brain-damaged son William

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A devastated couple who received £27,000 in compensation after their twin boy was stillborn have labelled the payout an "absolute insult".

Doctors admit Alfie Bee may have survived if more medical tests had taken place and an emergency Caesarean had been carried out sooner.

Now, parents Jane High and Daniel Bee, from Coningsby, say they want hospital bosses to promise that no other family will suffer the same ordeal.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted a breach of duty, has apologised to the family and paid damages.

Alfie and his twin brother William were delivered on December 12, 2009.

William was born with brain damage, although there is no proof this is the result of medical failings.

Five days earlier Miss High was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia – a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure.

She was given a steroid injection at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital and sent home. Four days later, she began bleeding. Miss High, who was 29 weeks pregnant at the time, said: "I was haemorrhaging and was taken back to hospital in an ambulance.

"When I got to hospital they monitored me at first and then the care completely stopped.

"I was in absolute agony. I called for help but was just settled down."

Following admission, Miss High developed contractions. Foetal heart monitoring was performed until around 10pm, at which time the machine was disconnected.

Later, Miss High went to the toilet but was unable to. It was then doctors realised the babies were close to being born.

On examination she was found to be fully dilated.

A decision was made for an emergency Caesarean section at 1.25am on December 12.

Alfie was stillborn at 2.21am and William was born at 2.22am. Miss High, 34, said her family will never recover from the trauma.

"You can't put any price on a child's life but £27,000 is an absolute insult," she said.

"I took legal action and spoke out because it's not about the money. The amount we received was an insult, it's because I want answers.

"I want to stop this happening to anyone else. What happened to the doctor and midwife who stopped monitoring me? Have they been made accountable or have steps been taken to stop this neglect happening again?

"I will never be able to see my baby Alfie grow up and that nightmare has kept me awake for the last three years.

"I have been given a lot of counselling and I realised I kept getting pregnant because of the grief. I wanted to fill the gap Alfie has left."

William, almost 3, is now an older brother to Emily, 2, and 9-month-old Megan.

"I am so grateful for having William but every time I look at him I think of Alfie," said Miss High. "William has missed out on having his twin brother and that breaks my heart."

Mr Bee, 30, said: "When we look at family pictures with William in, we can't help but think Alfie should be in them."

Spokesman for United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, Clare White, said: "We apologise unreservedly to Miss High and Mr Bee for the errors that occurred during the delivery of Alfie Bee in 2009.

"We have made changes in our practices, including improving communication between different levels of staff. We have amended our guidelines and carried out refresher training for staff around pregnancy-induced hypertension."

The family's solicitor Andrew Cragg, from Langleys, said: "Had monitoring been in place and appropriate advice sought, it's likely it would have prompted an earlier decision to perform an emergency caesarean section."

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  • janehigh  |  November 13 2012, 2:10PM

    My solicoter advised me to go to the press because i needed answers to what happened to the people involed for closure. And the Echo said without a figure they wouldnt publish iT we really didnt wasnt to put the figure. I really needed to now what happened to them i was hoping that the midwife had been struck off and lost her pin i was heart broken to find out they still were working and had to be retrained but at least now we can move on and finally put this behind us.

  • gsx1100  |  November 12 2012, 9:55PM

    To lose a child is every parents nightmare. To lose a child through medical negligence is worse. While I have every sympathy for Miss High and Mr. Bee, I cannot understand what they were trying to achieve by going to the press. Were they being naive, or were they ill advised by their legal team or friends? This should have been a private matter between the family and ULHT. Nevertheless, Jane High and her family still have a mountain to climb, and I wish them well.

    |   4
  • InsideStory  |  November 12 2012, 6:55PM

    janehigh Dont let these small minded people get you down they may think they have the right to comment in such a Callous manner but the lack of common decency and manners is lacking in some contributers.

    |   -1
  • janehigh  |  November 12 2012, 6:17PM

    I would surgest if you have nothing good to say than keep your upsetting comments to your selves we have been through enough heart ache seeing your horrile and spitefull coments is not doing me any good. I really wish they hadnt opened MY STORY up for coments unless you have been through what we have been through how do you now how you would react. Just leave us ALONE u are making me ill.

    |   -2
  • DavidSLincoln  |  November 12 2012, 12:56AM

    I have no connection to this story whatsoever, but I think its sad that the supporters of this family are being red arrowed. The paper has a bit to answer for with the way they have worded this tragedy. Finally, I feel that polite people should keep any potentially negative comments to themselves when dealing with issues of deceased children.

  • IT_MAN  |  November 11 2012, 11:39PM

    If this is not about money and you find the £27K an insult you have the option to refuse to settle for £27K, return the £27K and sue them for what you think is acceptable, just bear in mind you could end up worse off in court, it's a gamble.

    |   5
  • ckb911x  |  November 10 2012, 9:20PM

    This story was always going to produce a great mixture of reactions and personal viewpoints and I think that the Lincolnshire Echo should never have allowed comments to be posted.

    |   4
  • InsideStory  |  November 10 2012, 6:36PM

    Some people have no manners when it comes to knowing when to comment and not to comment. How low can someone get when making insulting comments and inuendos .If you have nothing nice to say then dont say anything at all.I hope the family concerned recieve the outcome they are hoping for.

    |   -5
  • staceyB  |  November 10 2012, 4:54PM

    and bear in mid the hospital offered the 27k for the damage caused,the insult is that they THINK 27k covers the damge and grief caused!!!! they are the ones putting a price on this awfull situation NOT the parents!!!

    |   -11
  • staceyB  |  November 10 2012, 4:49PM

    ok,having read some of these comments i am outraged at how small minded people can really be.You read something and think the worst!!you make me sick! I am a good friend of miss high and Mr bee and i have seen the devestation the loss of alfie has caused them!! What do you think this has mentally done to miss high?? Not only having to cope with the fact that her first born son has brain damage and will need care for the rest of his life,or having to cope with the fact that williams alive and alfie isnt,or the fact that every time one of her children is ill she is scared out of her mind that they are going to die, she then has to deal with idiotic comments from people who think she has shared her story for the money????? Miss high was brave to take legal action against the hospital who infact neglected her care and the care of her sons causing alfie to devistatingly not survive!! would you rather she didnt speak out and leave those people responsible to carry on neglecting mothers and causing more tradgedies??NO you wouldnt would you?? If it was you or your wife who had suffered for 3 long years with nightmares,panic,worry,stress,becoming secluded,not being able to look at your surviving son without feeling a great sense of loss????Can you honestly say you wouldnt have acted and wanted some justice???? I know for a fact that Miss high has just had work done on her property to support the demanding needs of her brain damaged son to help give him the best quality of life she can,yes she is getting a new car. a car that will be able to fit a wheelchair in for william!!!1 How can you people only focus on the negative side of her recieving compensation for this!!!! miss high took action so those responsible were dealt with to stop it happening to another mother, the money was not important,the hospital paid damages for the hurt and stress and suffering caused to mr bee and miss high, they didnt pay to say sorry your son died!!!! NO amount of money is enough to cover the loss of alfie! I just hope those of you that have commented in a negative way never have to go through the ordeal miss high and mr bee have been through,its heartbreaking to see and maybe you should sit and really think about the whole situation before you pass judgement.

    |   -10

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