Grieving parents tell of ‘extremely hard times’

Gary and Kimberley Stewart. Picture courtesy of the BBC.

The parents of baby Nevaeh Stewart have spoken out for the first time since a fatal accident inquiry into her death.

Nevaeh died three-and-a-half hours after she was born at Montrose Royal Infirmary’s community midwife unit in September 2012, after her mother had gone into labour at home in Auchenblae.

Midwives were called to Ninewells Hospital when she became unwell but a neonatal transport team did not arrive for another two hours.

The sheriff ruled Nevaeh had “simply languished” at the midwifery unit receiving only “basic resuscitation” because NHS guidelines would not allow a blue light ambulance to be sent to collect her.

Although a dedicated neonatal team was allocated to cover Montrose at the time, it was on another job in Wick when Nevaeh was born.

After a fatal accident inquiry, Sheriff Pino Di Emidio ruled reasonable precautions could have been taken to avoid her death.

Nevaeh’s mother Kimberley said: “These months have been extremely hard and no words could describe just how much these days have affected us in so many ways.

“It’s been extremely difficult to grieve as one normally would as this process was always in the background.

“None of this will change anything for us. We will forever be missing our beautiful Nevaeh but hopefully it will reduce the risk of another family having to live through what we have and will do for the rest of our lives.”

Nevaeh’s father Gary said: “The emotions one has when their child dies are extremely difficult to put into words.

“One of my thoughts during the days after was ‘this isn’t the natural order of things, I should die before my children’.

“Telling Nevaeh’s siblings that she had died was the hardest, most upsetting thing I have ever done.

“They did not deserve to have this happen to them. They were innocents, excitedly anticipating the arrival of a new little sister.”

Mrs Stewart added: “It is now more than five years since our darling girl was born. To have to deal with such big milestones last year, what should have been Nevaeh’s first day at school and her big girl fifth birthday, was both mentally and physically draining.

“That being said, we are glad the sheriff took his time as we know he’s gone over it all so meticulously and we can now begin to process everything with a clearer mind.”