Heartbroken Camden parents demand hospital learn from tragic baby death

PUBLISHED: 12:48 28 December 2012

Mother Melissa Reitano criticised the maternity ward at the Paddington hospital.

Mother Melissa Reitano criticised the maternity ward at the Paddington hospital.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A heartbroken couple from Camden have called on a hospital to ensure a breakdown in communication which they claim contributed to the death of their baby boy hours after he was born never happens again.

Baby Jack died wrapped in a blanket, sleeping next to his mother at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, despite a doctor having ordered he be put under supervision for breathing and heart problems, claim the distraught parents.

Mother Melissa Reitano has spoken of her anguish in the hope that the tragic tale will not be repeated.

Mrs Reitano said: “I woke a couple of hours later and knew straight away that Jack wasn’t breathing. The nurses tried to resuscitate him but it was too late. We were absolutely heartbroken.

“We just couldn’t understand what had gone so wrong. The last four months have been a living hell as we’ve tried to come to terms with what happened.”

Baby Jack had been suffering from breathing problems and his heart rate dropped to a dangerously low level during a two-day labour at the Paddington hospital in August.

A delivery room doctor instructed that the infant should be monitored every two hours, but just hours later in the maternity ward Jack was wrapped in a blanket and laid next to his exhausted mother to sleep, the parents said.

A post mortem examination found that Jack died of natural causes – sudden unexpected early neonatal death.

A spokeswoman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We have conducted a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Jack’s death; we found that some observations were not completed and this has been reinforced with the midwife concerned.

“However, the trust accepts the coroner’s finding that this did not in any way contribute to this tragic death, which was as a result of natural causes.”

Following an inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court last Thursday, Mrs Reitano said: “It will give us some peace of mind to know the same mistakes can’t be made again.

“We just couldn’t understand how the maternity ward could completely ignore the order from the doctor in the delivery room and why Jack was allowed to co-sleep with me.

“We just hope improvements have been made in communications between different wards so no-one else has to go through what we have.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now