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Jabs were not to blame for death of beautiful baby

A YOUNG Oswaldtwistle mum told how she found her "beautiful baby" dead in her bed just days after the child had her first injections.

A YOUNG Oswaldtwistle mum told how she found her "beautiful baby" dead in her bed just days after the child had her first injections.

But a leading paediatric pathologist told the parents and family of 11-week-old Emmi Jayne Whittaker there was nothing to link the jabs with what is commonly known as sudden infant death syndrome.

Mum Lisa Cook, 22, told the inquest that Emmi was a healthy and happy baby and she and her partner, Peter Whittaker, had no concerns about her. After giving Emmi her jabs the family doctor had given her a thorough examination and there was nothing wrong.

But two days later tragedy struck. Lisa told how she and Peter had returned from her sister's house to their home in Stanley Street and had gone to bed about 10 pm. The following morning Lisa was woken by Emmi crying. Peter had already gone to work at Joseph Metcalf and Lisa lifted Emmi into bed with her, placing a pillow so that she could not fall out.

Lisa said that a short time later she woke up feeling dizzy and needing to go to the toilet. She checked on Emmi when she returned and she was still sleeping. The next thing she remembered was waking up on the floor.

"I didn't know how long I had been there or what had happened," said Lisa. "My vision was blurred and I had a desperate need to go to the toilet again. When I returned I sat on the bed and I wasn't well. I needed to ring Pete to come home from work because I wasn't fit to look after Emmi."

Lisa didn't want to leave her baby on her own.

"When I picked her up she was limp, like a rag doll," said Lisa. "I blew on her face, pinched her cheeks, flicked her eyelids, anything to make her react. I wanted her to do something. She wasn't breathing."

The resuscitation attem-pts by Lisa, her mother, paramedics and hospital staff failed.

"I have no understanding as to why this happened, my baby was beautiful and happy," said Lisa.

Dr Melanie Newbold, a consultant paediatric pathologist at Manchester Chil-drens' Hospital, said that despite exhaustive tests the cause of death was unascertained.

She said a great deal of research had failed to find any link between baby injections and sudden infant death syndrome.

"The fact is we simply do not know why infants sometimes die suddenly and unexpectedly," said Dr Newbold. "There are a number of key indicators, such as parents who smoke and how the baby sleeps but sudden infant death syndrome is not a diagnosis, it is more of a description of a situation."

Dr Newbold said there was no evidence of asphyxiation that would be associated with accidental smothering.

The medical cause of death was given as sudden infant death syndrome and coroner Michael Singleton recorded a natural causes verdict.

He said he had no doubt that in years to come medical science would advance and somebody would recognise what causes so-called cot death.

"I know there is nothing I can say that will take away any of the pain you are feeling," Mr Singleton said to Emmi's parents. "But I do hope this inquest has been of some assistance to you."


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