Grieving parents back campaign after 'heartless' Covid rules left Longridge mum Jade to face baby ordeal alone

Grieving parents have pledged support to Jade Miller’s heart-rending campaign to have Covid rules relaxed in maternity units.

Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 9:50 am
Jade with 18-month-old son Reuben.

Jade lost her unborn child and needed life-saving surgery at the Royal Preston Hospital. But she was forced to face the heartbreaking ordeal alone because coronavirus restrictions prevented husband Patrick from being at her bedside.

Now the petition she started, pleading with Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ease the ban on partners in emergency cases, has prompted thousands of parents to add their voice to the message.

“The response has been absolutely incredible,” said Jade who is back home in Longridge recuperating. “Around 3,500 people have signed it and some of those have suffered a similar ordeal to what we did. I just hope this will have an effect.

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Husband Patrick endured an 11-hour wait at home to find out his wife was in recovery.

“I can sit with my husband in a pub or a restaurant, but he can’t be with me when we’ve just lost our baby and I am at risk of dying. It’s just not right.”

Jade was rushed into RPH by ambulance after suffering a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Patrick was forced to stay at home for 11 nerve-shredding hours before he was told she was in recovery.

“I’ve got to say the staff were brilliant, but I was still on my own. I wanted my husband there with me but he wasn’t allowed. He went through agony too not knowing what was happening.

"Surely in an emergency like that the rules could have been relaxed to let him be at my side.

“I was able to phone him once just before I went into surgery and then again when I came round. But we wanted to be together during that awful time and the rules just wouldn’t allow it.”

Jade’s petition on Change.org prompted scores of other women to share their experiences and voice their support.

One wrote: “Good for you for speaking out and trying to make a change. Very frustrating that we can go out and have a half-price meal, but you can’t have your partner there for such a traumatic event.”

Another recalled: “I had to go through this too during lockdown. It was the worst having to go outside and tell my partner we had lost our baby.”

And another wrote: “I am currently pregnant and can’t imagine going through pre-natal appointments alone, but especially the labour.

"It would be devastating to me and my husband. And to have that special moment taken away. But we can go in a pub or a supermarket where no-one is socially distancing. It’s a joke.”

Another mum-to-be said: “Every time I’ve gone to hospital during this pregnancy it’s been alone.

“My poor partner is told to sit in the car. Support is needed at times like this.”

And yet another wrote: “I have suffered two miscarriages through Covid-19 and one entailed an overnight stay. My husband sat outside the hospital at midnight until he knew what was happening. They are as much a part of this as us women.”

Jade added: “I started the petition because I want to raise awareness about the situation mothers and fathers are being put in at this time.

“It’s heartless.”

The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, which runs RPH, has said it will investigate Jade’s case.

“Visiting restrictions are in place to protect all our patients during the pandemic, however in a case like this staff should always use their discretion,” said a spokesperson.

“We are very sorry to hear about Jade’s experience and would encourage her to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison team so we can look into exactly what happened and explore why she and her family did not receive the support that they needed at such a difficult time.”