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Alness mum's fight for baby's life; claims Inverness hospital told her child would not survive

By Louise Glen

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Mother Linzi Mcmillan and baby Sam.
Mother Linzi Mcmillan and baby Sam.

A MUM claims she was told not once, but twice, her now four-month-old baby was not “viable” during her pregnancy.

Calling on other mums not to take no for an answer, Linzi Mcmillan (26) of Alness, says staff in Inverness’s Raigmore Hospital told her at 12 and 20 weeks pregnant that her baby would not survive.

However, defying all odds, at 26 weeks she gave birth to Sam on June 10 weighing in at just 2lbs 2oz.

Ms Mcmillan said that if she had not fought, her son would not be here – and advised other mums to do the same.

For Ms Mcmillan it was a chance conversation with a member of the maternity team in Raigmore that probably helped to save her son’s life.

Ms Mcmillan said: “I had a serious bleed when I was 12 weeks into my pregnancy and I went to hospital in Inverness. I was told that my cervix had opened and my baby was not viable. I was hysterical.

“I felt so unsupported by the staff. Someone earlier in the day mentioned that a cervix can be stitched or sutured to help close it.”

After trying cervical pessaries, Ms Mcmillan claims she got an admission by staff that they were not “skilled” in the suture procedure.

She said: “I found my voice. I didn’t see eye to eye with the consultant. I was determined not to let one person’s lack of skill take away from my baby’s right to life.”

A few days later Ms Mcmillan was assigned a new consultant who carried out the procedure and things improved.

But a road accident when she was 20 weeks pregnant saw her rushed to hospital. This time there were serious consequences.

She said: “It was a really frightening time, I was told that my baby would likely need to be delivered, and again Raigmore told me that my baby would not survive.

“I didn’t take no for an answer for a second time. I was moved to Aberdeen to the specialist baby unit because I could not get the treatment I needed in Raigmore.”

Ms Mcmillan said: “What I want is for other women to hear my story and know that they should listen to their gut.

“They shouldn’t take no for an answer. Most importantly they should never lose their voice.

“If I had listened to the consultants in Raigmore I would not have baby Sam now.”

A spokesman for NHS Highland said: “We regularly monitor maternity services across our board area to ensure we continue to deliver high-quality, safe care to pregnant women and their babies.

“We have not been contacted and would certainly want to look into it. We would encourage the family to get in touch with our lead midwife so we can investigate this properly. The health board has systems in place to investigate and learn from any adverse events which do occur.”

He said they couldn’t comment on individual cases but that risk assessment is undertaken by doctors and midwives on a case by case basis and throughout pregnancy.

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