Graham and Monica Thompson had only just welcomed their miracle child, Jacob, into the world, when tragedy struck with full force.
As if their experience wasn’t heartbreaking enough, the death of their newborn baby could have been prevented.
Mothers sleeping together with their newborn babies has become a hotly debated topic in the last few years. Some mothers believe it’s good for the child, while others counter that it’s fraught with risk.
The main reason for women resting alongside their babies is that they want to feel the child as close as possible. It’s believed in certain circles that babies find it easier to sleep after breastfeeding, if they’re allowed to lie close to the mother.
However, this tragic tale shows that the practise can be fatal, particularly when certain circumstances arise.
In the summer of 2012, Monica Thompson gave birth to her sweet baby boy, Jacob. There was added elation surrounding his birth, as Monaco had been trying to fall pregnant for 12 years.
Given that Monica and her husband Graham had been experiencing fertility issues for over a decade, they saw Jacob’s arrival as nothing short of a miracle.
Monica delivered Jacob via Caesarean section and was administered several strong painkillers and doses of sleeping pills in the immediate aftermath, according to the Washington Post.
When her son was but four-days-old, one of the nurses brought Jacob to Monica’s hospital bed in the middle of the night. Seeing that he was hungry, the idea was to have Monica breastfeed her son.
However, still under the influence of powerful medication, Monica fell asleep. When she awoke, an hour later, she realised something was wrong.
By that point, it was already too late.
Stricken with panic
As per reports, Monica still felt “drowsy and groggy” when she woke up, though she immediately knew something was wrong when her baby was unresponsive.
She tried to open Jacob’s eyes, talk with him and make him respond in some way, but nothing worked.
Now panic-stricken, Monica cried for help. She was forced to run out into the corridor, where she found a nurse who could help her her baby.
Doctors were quick on the scene and immediately transferred Jacob to the intensive-care unit of another hospital. Sadly, Jacob’s life-support was turned off after six days.
He was only ten-days-old.
The heartbroken parents decided to sue the Oregon hospital for $8.6 million. They argue that Monica suffocated Jacob (who was starved of oxygen) due to the fact that she was under the influence of strong medication.
According to the complaint – as per The People – “Jacob suffocated under his mother while she was under the influence of narcotic and sleep aids. His inability to breath [sic] caused desperation and anxiety. His breathing eventually stopped. His pulse was weak or absent.”
It goes without saying that the couple of have been left scarred by this traumatic experience – particularly Monica, who has since suffered with depression.
A spokesperson for Portland Adventist Medical Center, where Jacob was born, says that it was a “tragic situation” and that their “thoughts and prays continue to be with the family.”
“Jacob was a true miracle baby,” says his mother, Monica.
“He was my firstborn and only son. I am sharing our story in the hopes that no mother or family will ever have to suffer through a tragedy such as this. What happened to us could’ve easily been prevented had the nurses been doing their job.”
Monica is keen to spread Jacob’s story to ensure his life will not be in vain.
Share this story to help prevent this tragedy from ever befalling anyone else.