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Douglas Whitbread & Dave Himelfield

Couple demand answers after baby dies 30 minutes after birth at Leeds General Infirmary

A couple whose daughter died less than 30 minutes after birth are still seeking answers - almost three years since her tragic passing.

Fiona Winser-Ramm, 37, said “time has stood still” since she and husband Daniel, 39, were forced to say goodbye to little Aliona, in the delivery suite. Primary school teacher Fiona, who has polycystic ovarian syndrome, knew conceiving a baby would be “difficult” and was “amazed” when it happened naturally.

She was booked for an induced labour appointment at Leeds General Infirmary 41 weeks into their first pregnancy. But just hours before the planned procedure, Fiona's contractions began naturally on December 30, 2019.

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And when baby Aliona was delivered by forceps, 11 days overdue, she was in poor health and pronounced dead on January 1 2020, aged just 27 minutes. Fiona said it was “gut-wrenching” to be told their infant had passed away and hoped an upcoming inquest would provide more answers about her tragic passing.

She said: “When Aliona was born, Daniel and I eagerly waited to hear her cry, but it never came. We were told she had died and I still remember the gut-wrenching feeling of that moment.

“Since then, it feels like time has stood still for us. Aliona was the piece to complete our family and we’ll never get over losing her.

Fiona Winser-Ramm lost her daughter Aliona just 30 minutes after her birth (Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)

“We know nothing will ever bring her back and the inquest is going to be difficult, but we have to do this to get the answers we need to honour our baby girl’s memory.”

Fiona, who married Daniel, a sports development officer, in 2018, said they had wanted “more than anything” to become parents.

So she was thrilled to find out that she was pregnant despite having polycystic ovarian syndrome, which affects the way her reproductive system works.

Fiona said: “When I was 17, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome so I always knew that conceiving would be more difficult for me. But becoming parents was something both Daniel and I wanted more than anything, so we sought help as soon as we got married.

“To our absolute amazement, I fell pregnant naturally. After spending years caring for other people’s children, I was delighted that I would be able to care for one of my own.”

Both Fiona and Daniel, who have been together since 2010, have struggled to return to work in the aftermath of Aliona’s death.

They have now instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to help establish answers about her passing and support them through the inquest process. Katie Warner, the lawyer representing Fiona and Daniel, said the couple had “a number of questions and concerns” about the care they received.

She said: “Both Fiona and Daniel have spent almost three years struggling to come to terms with something that no parent should have to deal with; the loss of their baby girl so suddenly and under such tragic circumstances. Understandably, they also still have a number of questions and concerns over the care provided prior to them losing Aliona.

“The lack of answers to date has hampered their ability to grieve for Aliona and increased their worry that, without full consideration of what happened that day, this could all too easily happen to another family. While nothing can ever make up for their devastating loss, we’re determined to support Fiona and Daniel throughout the inquest to help provide them with all of the answers they deserve.

“If, during the course of the hearing, any issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety.”

An inquest into Aliona’s death is due to take place at Wakefield Coroner’s Court from December 12 to 14.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been approached for comment.

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