Mother in hospital – level 3
On the surface, this could be any mother and daughter, but Amelie and Irem share a special story. Because of an epidural, Irem had a blood clot which was putting pressure on her spinal cord and meant that Amelie had to spend the first 6 days of her life separated from her mother. And Irem had to endure a long, life-threatening operation just after going through labour.
"It was heartbreaking and I didn't see her then for the next 5 days after that because I was recovering from the surgery. And all I could think about was what was with Amelie. She was there by herself. It's really quite heartbreaking."
Because of a heart condition, Irem was advised to have an epidural – an injection in the back, which numbs the nerves. Five hours after giving birth she still didn't have feeling in her legs. Initially, medical staff seemed unfazed, offering reassurance, but when nothing had changed the next day, doctors went into panic mode.
"The aftercare, the time it took to diagnose and treat is a subject to an investigation and, you know, I do feel that, you know, I wasn't listened to."
Chelsea and Westminster's own investigation agreed. They recognised delays in picking up symptoms. A legal investigation will focus on whether those delays meant she missed the chance to have surgery earlier.
"I really dreamed of being a mum I know as many people do, so not being able to look after her is the hardest thing. I mean, just even watching Adam being able to pick her up and give her a hug is difficult for me because I'm not the one looking after her and I always thought I would be. And it was difficult with bonding for her because even though we spend a lot of time together she, she understands now. Now that she’s a toddler she understands there’s things mum can’t do, so she won't come to me for those, and that's really difficult for me."
Irem's dream of motherhood is now different to how she’d envisioned and life has completely changed for this family.
Difficult words: epidural (something which doctors give you so you do not feel pain), clot (a thick mass of blood), initially (in the beginning), unfazed (not worried), toddler (a young child who is just beginning to walk), envision (to imagine).
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