Jeannie Aitken and Simon Jerrard are searching for answers after a hospital blamed them for their baby daughter’s death. According to Aitken, after their daughter tragically died in December 2020, the hospital was quick to point fingers at them, claiming that Lily’s problems were either caused by abuse or a car accident – accusations that the couple firmly denies.
Baby Lily was born on July 29 last year in Stevenage with two broken legs, club feet, dislocated hips, and a broken pelvis. After being moved to an intensive care unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, it was learned that the newborn also suffered from extensive brain damage, and would never be able to walk, talk, or see.
Despite warnings that the baby would die, Lily survived and improved enough to go home with her family after months in the hospital. Days after coming home, baby Lily went into cardiac arrest, forcing her mother, Jeannie Aitken, to perform CPR. Lily was rushed to the hospital where specialists claimed that she was doing “absolutely fine” and was apparently “on the mend.” Then, days later, one of her lungs stopped working before passing in December.
Now Lister Hospital has launched a full investigation into the baby’s death. Jeannie Aitken and partner, Simon Jerrard, are seeking answers – except for the ones given during a hospital review meeting when Jerrard was blamed for the baby’s death.
“They accused my partner of beating me up,” Aitken explained. “They said that the only conclusion we could come to is that you’ve been abused, or you’ve been in a car accident. Because Lily came out with broken bones, club feet, a displaced hip, and brain damage, they blamed my partner.”
After losing her child, Jeannie Aitken admitted that the entire situation was “very challenging” and had been even tougher on her 2-year-old son, Lucas. “I think the hardest part is not being able to keep a happy face and him having to see the pain from a young age,” Aitken said.
She continued, saying that “not being able to see his sister because of Covid and the restrictions was also hard. He was able to see her for one second when she was getting transferred to Cambridge. It’s hard as well because they were identical, they were like twins. So every time I see Lucas, I see Lily. So it’s been very, very difficult.”
The accusations made against Aitken and Jerrard have not transformed into charges, and Lister Hospital is doing a full investigation on baby Lily’s tragic death and the allegations against her parents. The hospital is also looking into the concerns raised by the parents after both Aitken and Jerrard were shocked by the comments raised informally in a meeting.
Nick Carver, the chief executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said that “we would like to offer our sincere condolences to Lily’s family, who we have been in contact with while we fully investigate their concerns. We understand how important it is for them to have full answers to their questions as part of our investigations process, which will be completed as soon as possible.”
Carver continued, saying that “we believe our staff provided the best care they could to Lily in difficult circumstances and we have shared the findings of our investigation with Lily’s family – we would welcome them contacting us so we can answer any further questions they may have.”
Despite the heartbreak of losing a child, Jeannie Aitken admitted that she is grateful for meeting her “happy and wonderful” baby girl.
“We are so grateful to have had the chance to have her home even for four days, and she will always be with us,” Aitken said. “When she looked at you, you could see she was happy and loved being in her bouncer.”
Simon Jerrard, who was accused of beating his partner, added that baby Lily was “a wonderful baby girl going through so many problems, but she never gave up, she did fight through to the very end.” Lily “proved a lot of people wrong,” according to Jerrard, referencing the doctors who claimed she wouldn’t live beyond her first day.
“But me, as a parent, had all the hope in the world,” Jeannie Aitken admitted, despite hearing the tragic news early on. “Every single day she proved them wrong, after they said she wouldn’t live past a day. And she lived for four months, so she proved a lot of people wrong.”