I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl on the 12th September 2013. Scarlett showed no signs of illness growing up, only the occasional cough and cold. She was such a happy baby, and when she started walking, she loved playing and running around. Her favourite was toy story; she would have her Jessie doll in one hand and her hobby horse in the other, chasing me around the house, shouting “Yee Yah”
Scarlett had the most contagious laugh, one you couldn’t ignore, her smile would brighten up your day, and her cuddles were the warmest!
It was a Wednesday when Scarlett first fell ill, she had just come home from nursery. It seemed to just be a sick bug, which would pass within a couple of days. We just kept trying to keep her hydrated.
Over the next week, Scarlett’s symptoms seemed to get worse, to more flu like symptoms. She was lethargic, wanting to sleep all day and night, no colour in her face whatsoever. We struggled getting any food and water down her, to the point where we had to fill up a medicine syringe and squirt it in her mouth.
We took Scarlett to the doctors on the Monday, the doctor diagnosed her with a viral infection and sent us on our way. The following day, we took Scarlett to the doctors again, but were seen by a different GP she thought Scarlett could have some kind of throat ulcer, which was why Scarlett didn’t want to eat or drink. This GP prescribed some ibuprofen, and said to give her a call if I had any worries.
Wednesday 24th February – Scarlett just did not seem to improve. I put Scarlett into her bed and gave the doctors’ surgery a call, as I didn’t want to drag her back out again. The doctor wasn’t available to speak to me and I was advised they would call me back. I then went to check on Scarlett in her bed. she was fast asleep, but her lips where blue. I called for a taxi straight away and took her to A&E. After waiting three hours to be seen by a doctor Scarlett was diagnosed with tonsillitis and prescribed antibiotics. We asked about what could be the cause of the blue lips, but he believed it was just a one off, which could have been caused by many different things. We kept telling him how poorly she was, and how unlike normal self she had been over the past week, but he was adamant she didn’t need to be admitted. We put our trust in the doctor and took Scarlett home.
We got home around 6.30 in the evening and Scarlett was exhausted, so we tucked her up in our bed. When it was time for myself and my partner Leon to go to bed, Scarlett was still fast asleep, so Leon got in bed with Scarlett, and I got on the couch.
Around 12.30 am, Scarlett woke up shouting ‘Mummy! Mummy!’ and toddled in the living room. She climbed under the blanket with me, and gave me big cuddles. What I didn’t know was, they would be my last. Scarlett went back to bed with Leon. She then climbed out of bed, and got comfortable on the floor. This was normal for Scarlett as the floor was her comfort place. Leon got out of bed and picked Scarlett up to put her in her own bed but then came running into me saying something wasn’t right, Scarlett was making strange noises. I jumped off the couch and ran to her, there I found my daughter not breathing, and unresponsive. I screamed for Leon to call an ambulance. Leon carried out CPR until the ambulance arrived. Our little girl was in cardiac arrest, the paramedics spent 40 minutes constantly performing CPR, even giving her shots of adrenaline, anything to try and revive her. She was then taken into the ambulance, and I got in the front. All I could hear was the defibrillator shocking her, and the sirens screaming. That sound will stick with me for the rest of my life.
When we arrived at Bolton A&E, Scarlett was rushed into a room where doctors carried on with the CPR for about another hour. All we could do was sit and wait, hoping when the doctor next came in it would be good news, but when the doctor came, he told us they don’t think Scarlett would make it, and allowed us to sit with her whilst they carried on the final rounds of CPR. I watched my baby die in front of me, and I was helpless. My little girl was pronounced dead in the early hours of Thursday morning.
I was able to spend two years and five months being a mother to the most precious, smart, kind, thoughtful and beautiful little girl there is, though I’m grateful for all the memories, love and happiness, it is not enough. I questioned why… why my little girl? Why didn’t the doctors listen when I told them how poorly she was? What more could I have done?
After a long wait, Scarlett’s inquest was in December. It was concluded that Scarlett died from Laryngotracheobronchitis, which is an upper respiratory infection. However that being a cause of death is very rare. The findings from the post mortem showed that Scarlett’s heart was not normal for a child her age. It is believed this was a long-term heart problem and not just caused from her being unwell. The heart problem is likely to have suppressed Scarlett’s ability to fight off the illness, which is why she passed. Unfortunately, they were unable to find out the exact heart condition that Scarlett had.