Health

Fighting to let Baby RB die

A mother who fought to have her severely ill baby's life support machine turned off is now able to tell her story for the first time.

Seventeen months ago, the parents of a child known only as "Baby RB" were locked in a legal battle. A court order, which stopped the parties involved from being named, has been partially lifted.

The mother was Kelly Bickell.

"We thought we was going to have a healthy baby, but when Ronnie came out he wasn't crying, he wasn't moving... he was blue."

Ronnie was moved onto a ventilator.

He had a rare genetic condition called congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS), which made it hard for him to breathe on his own. He was in hospital since birth.

"As Ronnie got older, we realised he couldn't sit up, he couldn't hold his own head up. He couldn't do anything apart from move his little wrists.

"His brain was absolutely fine, he could see, he could hear."

'Why would I let my son suffer?'

The doctors recommended that the life support machine was switched off. Initially both parents disagreed, but then Kelly changed her mind.

She remembers telling her partner: "I'm so sorry I don't want this. I don't want to put my son through this anymore, I don't think it's fair. You know I wouldn't want a life like it so I thought why would I let my son suffer? Then obviously after that me and Nick [not his real name] broke up and things started to get very difficult."

The case went to the High Court.

Kelly's former partner eventually changed his mind, and four days later, Ronnie's life support was switched off.

"I don't know if there's a heaven, but I'm hoping there is. And I'm just thinking now, you know, that he's in a better place and he's probably having so much more fun than when he was laying in a hospital bed."

Kelly has just given birth to her second child Reggie.

"He's fine. Absolutely fine. Obviously it was really scary being pregnant again and I had so many scans and obviously it was always in the back of my mind. Is Reggie gonna come out like Ronnie did? So that was really, really hard.

"But when he come out I knew it was gonna be totally different because he screamed and he cried. He was fine and I was so, so happy."

The full interview was broadcast on BBC Radio 5 live's Victoria Derbyshire programme at 10am on Monday April 4th.

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