Staffordshire couple claims that their baby boy’s death 14 hours after his birth was unavoidable. Hannah Taylor Swift and Tim Taylor-Swift were left devastated by the loss of their son Zach.
After having problems with his breathing, Zach died last November 17. Doctors informed them that Zach had died from Group Strep B (GBS), which can cause death in newborns.
A full inquest has been set up and an NHS investigation has been launched into his death.
READ: Stoke-on-Trent’s new tourist attraction will feature a brand-new cocktail bar, shop and distillery.
The University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust has expressed its heartfelt condolences to Zach’s family but said it cannot yet comment on the circumstances at this stage of the investigation, deports DerbyshireLive.
From what was expected to be one of life’s most memorable and joyous moments in seeing their new child born, the experience has caused “utter despair” for the devastated couple. Several weeks on, grieving Tim and Hannah want to open up about Zach’s life and their own experiences to raise public awareness of the Group B Strep infection so other parents do not suffer the traumatic episode of losing a new-born child this way.
They say the condition and its devastating consequences are unknown to many people – even by those who suffer from it. They feel if they had been made aware of the infection during Hannah’s pregnancy then Zach may have survived and he would still be in their arms today.
Hannah and Tim were expecting their fifth child last year, but tragedy struck right in front of them. The couple still have nightmares and sleepless nights from the horror moments. Hannah and Tim say Zach will always be very dear to them.
Tim said: “We’ve got four other children, but Zach was going to be our fifth and final piece of the puzzle. It was incredible to hold him for the first-time.
“There is no pain like knowing nothing can save your precious baby. As we watched our son die, we felt utter despair.
“We had our future planned with him and everything ready to bring him home. To leave that hospital empty handed and return to our house without him was pure agony.”
After Zach’s death, subsequent tests showed that he was found to be positive for Group B Strep. Group B Strep, a type bacterial infection that lives in the intestines and rectum, is also known as the vaginal yeast infection. The infection is believed to affect between 20% and 40% of British women.
Online information states that most women with GBS will not experience symptoms. However, it can occasionally cause serious infections in infants and very rarely in pregnant women. It can cause severe infection, such as meningitis or sepsis.
Hannah and Tim, who live in Staffordshire feel strongly that Zach’s care in hospital was not adequate during his short life. They feel that there are important questions that need to be answered by health experts.
They allege that despite requests made a doctor was not called to check on Zach’s condition for up to seven hours either side of hospital staff changing shifts on that morning. Only when he was checked, it was then too late – the parents claim.
Tim said: “His death was avoidable, and care wasn’t up to what we believe to be good enough. We, along with the midwives, were worried about his presentation and requested that a doctor come to check him. They didn’t come. Another call was made but (a doctor) still didn’t come.
“Currently an inquest has been opened by the coroner to investigate further. “
There is also a wider aspect to the family’s “avoidable” death claim and that is surrounding the issue of pregnancy screening. Tim stated that he and his partner weren’t informed of GBS during pregnancy. They think that if they were, antibiotics would have been given to Hannah in order to prevent any life-threatening consequences to her son.
He said: “We weren’t made aware of anything or options. We felt it was preventable. If we had been offered antibiotics at that time and Hannah was given antibiotics during labor, then we might not be telling the truth today. From the information we’ve been given by doctors then yes I think he would have survived. It would have massively reduced the infection.”
Royal Derby Hospital Trust confirmed that the hospital would be starting a screening program for women who are 35 weeks pregnant. Dr James Crampton, executive medical director at University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our heartfelt condolences remain with Tim and his family at this incredibly difficult time. We take the tragic loss of a child very seriously. We are currently investigating Zachary’s case in order to provide answers for his family.
“Under national guidance Group B Streptococcus screening is not routinely offered to all pregnant women, but the Trust has joined a national research trial that looks to screen women who are over 35 weeks into their pregnancy.”
To help combat their grief and despair, the couple are determined to raise awareness of the Group B Strep condition so other parents don’t suffer like they have done. The couple have created a Go Fund Me page to raise funds for the Group B Strep Support charity. The charity works to prevent group B Strep infection from babies and educates parents, doctors and midwives.
Tim said: “I’ve got four children and I was completely oblivious to the condition. My wife has had four births and she was totally unaware. I’ve got friends and family who have multiple children themselves and they don’t know nothing about it. The condition is often overlooked and not understood by many people.
“No one has explained why Zach got Group B Step and I don’t think it is an answer we will ever get direct. It’s a bacterial infection that lives within the body. Anyone can get it at any time without becoming symptomatic. It doesn’t normally cause the person who’s got it genuine concerns. But a baby has a different immune system and if it is transmitted to the baby in the birth process – then the baby suffers. It can cause brain damage and sepsis. Zach was the victim. “
Hannah and Tim are calling for screening for Group B Strep during pregnancy. This would allow for important checks to take place. It is said this is done in other countries but not under the UK’s NHS system.
For more information about Group B Strep you can visit the Go Fund Me page here https://www.gofundme.com/f/hannahs-fund-for-group-b-strep-support? – or by visiting https://gbss.org.uk.
Their Go Fund Me page says: “We need to fight for screening. GBS is the leading cause of neonatal death in the UK. It is shocking that it is not screened.
“There are many countries who carry out routine screenings and there is statistical data to show a dramatic decrease in deaths. Our NHS currently don’t routinely swab despite this being an early preventable infection. Antibiotics can be given to mothers during labour for as little as four hours to prevent transmission.
“There needs to be a drive for more education to mothers and NHS staff. If screening isn’t to go ahead then hyper vigilance in monitoring babies at birth is a must.”
Hannah and Tim also plan to establish local support groups in the area for those who are experiencing a loss of a baby/child.
Tim stated that he also hoped to work with existing charities in order to make changes for future care of pregnant women.
NEWSLETTER – Sign up to receive email alerts right in your inbox
Do you want to share something happening near you? Tweet us to let us know about what’s going on in your area. @SOTLive Contact us by submitting a message Visit our Facebook page . Tag us on Instagram if you have any photos. StokeonTrentLive.
Stoke-on-Trent’s historic buildings deemed ‘at-risk’ to heritage trust will be taken over by a new heritage trust
Stoke-on-Trent’s newest café launches – and it’s cheap as chips
Stoke-on Trent Tesco will sell the first time their ‘favourite pie’ to Footie lovers
Families are more likely to be awakened at 2am by vomit, sleeplessness and broken windows.
Joshua Ball was en route to Royal Stoke when Ambulance personnel had to’restrain’ him
Leave a Reply