Elouisa, 9th – 11th June 2012, London.

Elouisa in her mother's arms

Lucy tells us about the difficult birth and tragic loss of her first child, Elouisa

Elouisa’s birth

“My pregElouisa sadly passed away from oxyden deprivation, an area Sparks focusses onnancy was normal and Elouisa was healthy at every stage. At 42 weeks, I wasn’t giving any indication of going into labour and so went into hospital to begin induction. In the middle of the night, I started having waves of pain which weren’t really bad but were too much for me to go to sleep. I thought my waters had broken so I turned on the light, but quickly realised it wasn’t water but blood instead. As we later discovered, a weakness in the cord had caused it to break during early labour.

“The midwives and doctors ran in; they couldn’t find much movement on a scan, and only a very faint heartbeat. I was immediately rushed into theatre, in shock while everything went on around me, and Elouisa was born just a few minutes later by emergency C-section. The team then resuscitated her for 22 minutes.”

Our decision

“Elouisa’s initial tests and brain scans made it very clear that she had been without oxygen for too long and her brain damage was severe. My husband Tom (who is himself a doctor) and I were told that Elouisa was not going to live, and we had to make a decision as quickly as possible about the next steps for her. This meant either taking her off the life support and letting her go, or sending her to another hospital for cooling treatment, which may have prolonged her life for a short time.

Elouisa“We wanted her to spend her life close to us, and didn’t want her to be in unnecessary pain, so we chose to take her off life support. Elouisa lived for another 40 hours, breathing for herself all of that time. She woke up once, opened her eyes and cried, and, amazingly, was able to feed a little. She was perfect; beautiful, strong, and everything we had hoped for in our daughter – just, devastatingly, not able to stay with us.”

Elouisa died in Lucy’s arms 48 hours after she was born.

Supporting Sparks

“On 9th December 2012, when Elouisa would have been six months old, Tom and I wanted to do something in her memory. On Tom’s way to work, he saw a Sparks poster, so we did some research to find out more about the charity. When we read about their funding of research into cooling treatment for babies who are starved of oxygen at birth, we knew we wanted to help. We set up a Justgiving page and asked family and friends to donate, if they wanted to, in memory of our little girl. In the future, we hope to raise more money for Sparks.

“Although the cooling treatment would not have made a difference for Elouisa, it can limit further injury for those babies who have mild or moderate brain damage, and give them a better quality of life. If our fundraising can help Sparks to improve other children’s lives, then we will be even more proud of our brave, beautiful, and much-missed daughter.”

Lucy and Elouisa’s little brother

Find out more about Sparks research projects into oxygen deprivation

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