Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Was Diagnosed with a Pulled Muscle. Days Later Our Baby Boys Had Died

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Was Diagnosed with a Pulled Muscle. Days Later Our Baby Boys Had Died

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Barley Reporter

A MUM has spoken of her heartbreak after she lost her unborn twins days after a nurse sent her home saying her pain was a "pulled muscle".

Nicola Jaffray was suffering from a serious medical condition and the pain, just below her right breast, was one of the babies in her rib cage.

Nicola, 32, and her partner David Bielicki, from Nether-fields in Middlesbrough, said they feel "let down, angry and frustrated" that Nicola had not been diagnosed with the condition sooner.

The twin boys, Deacon and Karson, were tragically stillborn at 25 weeks in July this year.

After an investigation South Tees NHS Foundation Trust wrote to the couple apologising for the late diagnosis and admitted that Nicola should have had an ultrasound scan when she first complained about the pain.

David, 36, said: "It has been a living nightmare.

"To be told and assured by a midwife that your babies are perfectly fine and then days later you are cradling them, lifeless, well it is devastating and hard to get your head around."

The couple found out Nicola was pregnant in April this year but in July she started feeling pain in her ribs.

She went to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital where she was assessed.

She said: "It was like a spasm.

"It was really painful and my bump didn't look right - it looked square.

"They tested my blood pressure and pulse and told me there were signs of a pulled muscle.

"She gave me some paracetamol and codeine and that was it.

"I thought it was too painful for a pulled muscle but they are they experts, not me."

The pain continued for several days before Nicola said it became unbearable. David said: "She couldn't sleep and at one point she was curled up in a ball on the sofa. She was in a really bad way."

She went back to the Maternity Assessment Unit where she was again told that she was suffering muscular pain and sent home without having a scan. David said: "We kept saying it can't just be that. She was in so much pain. I remember asking the midwife if my babies are OK.

"She looked me in the eye and said they were 'perfectly fine.'" ."

The following day Nicola returned to the unit via ambu-lance due to the severe pain.

As she was already due to have a ultra sound scan (USS) that day, she was taken for the scan.

And it was then that the devastating discovery was found that Nicola had contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a disease of the placenta which affects twin pregnancies.

She said: "It was found that I had TTTS and the pain I was suffering was the baby stuck in my rib.

"The doctor told us the risk of both babies dying was high. He said I could either have a C-section where there was virtually no chance of them surviving or I could go to St George's Hospital in London where I could have laser treatment. …

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