The Hollands’ fight for justice resulted in a full admission of liability and an acknowledgment of responsibility for their tragic loss in open court although this ordeal could and should have been avoided had the Coombe Hospital conducted itself in the way that it should have.
When Ruby was born at the Coombe maternity hospital on the 21 st July 2016, it was clear that her life was hanging in the balance and it was a medical emergency following maternal birth injuries. When she died on the following day, her parents were left with a sense that her care was not just inadequate, but chaotic. This led them to question that care.
Ruby’s mother Ciara is a nurse. She was not convinced by the explanation given for Ruby’s death. There had been a bleed during labour, but it was not a major one and it seemed unlikely to have caused such a serious injury to Ruby. A truly independent review was required from someone outside The Coombe and so Ruby’s parents asked if we could commission an objective expert opinion from the UK. We ultimately needed three experts to clarify issues of obstetrics and early life care (neonatology), all three of whom were highly critical of the care given both to mother and baby at the Coombe and concluded that but for the gross negligence in their care, Ruby would have survived her birth and gone on to enjoy a normal healthy life.
Following these revelations, Ruby’s parents instructed us to issue court proceedings if the Coombe refused to acknowledge their wrongdoing. We wrote to the hospital in this regard but there was no meaningful response and no acknowledgment of responsibility and so it was necessary to issue High Court proceedings against them.
so many others is probably ‘no’.
We can only account for our own actions and the courage and fortitude of Ciara and Glen Holland marks them out as an example to others who find themselves in a similar dreadful situation. They saw what they believed to be a wrong, they sought an acknowledgement of that from The Coombe and when that reasonable request was met with a whitewash report, they went about establishing the truth for their daughter, themselves, and their family. They have done what they set out to do.
Hopefully, there will be some small comfort in that.