'Medics missed the superbug that killed our newborn... we want answers'
No family should feel this pain, grieving parents say
The parents of a baby who died from MRSA have said that no family should have to suffer as they suffered.
A preliminary hearing was held at Laganside House in Belfast yesterday for Shea Matthew John Morrissey, who died aged just one month old on November 22 last year at the city's Royal Victoria Hospital.
Parents Louise Lynn (30) and Sam Morrissey (20), from Shore Road in north Belfast, attended the hearing to have an official inquest date confirmed.
However, coroner Joe McCrisken said a date could not be set until all medical documents had been sent to him.
Mr McCrisken also advised the couple that the process was not a trial, but was designed to find where "lessons could be learnt".
He explained that if they wished to bring their own team of lawyers, that would not be available on Legal Aid.
Ms Lynn, who wore a silver necklace bearing Shea's name, told the hearing that although she had received a number of witness statements and a post-mortem report, she could not bring herself to read them as her grief was still too raw.
Speaking after the hearing the couple said they did not want another child to go through what Shea went through, or for another family to suffer the loss of a infant.
Ms Lynn said they were under the impression for seven months after losing their son that he died because of cot death, but a post-mortem report later confirmed that the baby had contracted the infection staphylococcus aureus.
"When he was born he was small at just over 5lb, but he thrived and soon weighed over 10lbs," Ms Lynn said. "People had said that he was small, but once he was born he was great - he was doing really well, he had no problems feeding and was putting weight on. Then 10 days before his death his chest was rasping, especially at night. He couldn't breathe properly.
"When I took him to the doctor, they said it was a cold and prescribed saline for his blocked nose, but all along he had MRSA.
"It was in his lungs and went to his heart and it killed him - he just went to sleep.
"I try not to think about it, that's my way of coping with it. But these hearings mean I will have to think about it and I'm dreading that.
"With a new baby you think you have all the time in the world, but you don't."
Mr Morrissey explained that the sudden death of his son had come as a shock and that the family was still grieving.
"I just want justice," he said. "I don't ever want anyone else to go through what we have.
"For months afterwards and even now, you think about it and think, 'What did we do wrong?'
"But he had an infection - and doctors who trained for years and even midwives didn't pick up on it.
"It ripped me apart and his mother too. You don't get over something like this.
"We wouldn't wish it on anyone, but we want answers as to why this has happened."
Mr McCrisken said that another preliminary hearing would be held before the official inquest, a date for which he hoped to set as quickly as possible.