Kent

Harry Richford born in 'room full of panicking people'

Sarah and Tom Richford with their baby, Harry Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Harry, seen with his parents Sarah and Tom Richford, died seven days after being born

A mother said she was "listening to a room full of panicking people" as she gave birth to her son on a hospital operating table.

Harry Richford was born at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate in 2017 but died a week later.

Giving evidence during the inquest into the death of her son, Sarah Richford said: "No one was more afraid than me."

Thomas Richford said his son was "silent and very floppy" following the birth.

Mrs Richford had been taken to theatre for an emergency delivery after her baby showed signs of distress, the inquest sitting in Sandwich was told.

The coroner, Christopher Sutton-Mattocks, had previously heard from three midwives and a senior doctor about how Harry's heartbeat kept dropping and how there were concerns over his position before he was born.

'Helpless, exhausted and distressed'

An anaesthetist later had to step in to help resuscitate Harry after a locum registrar failed to get him to breathe, the court heard.

Mrs Richford told the inquest: "I was on a operating table listening to a room full of panicking people.

"No one was more afraid than me. I was feeling helpless, exhausted and distressed."

Mr Richford told the hearing: "There were a lot of people making a lot of noise.

"I knew something was wrong. I knew something was seriously wrong.

"I was telling Sarah he was fine."

Both parents told the hearing they had not been able to hold their son "until the final day".

The inquest continues.

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