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Mum and baby die in 'devastating tragedy' at Royal Derby Hospital

Derbyshire Live logo Derbyshire Live 30/11/2022 Daniela Loffreda
Sarah Hallaway and Oliver Hallaway sadly died at Royal Derby Hospital in January 2021 © Sue Pedley Sarah Hallaway and Oliver Hallaway sadly died at Royal Derby Hospital in January 2021

A mum has paid tribute to her daughter and grandson after they died at Royal Derby Hospital. Sarah Hallaway was 31 weeks pregnant when she collapsed at her home in Ashbourne on January 3, 2021. Medics performed an emergency c-section before taking Sarah and her newborn baby Oliver to the Royal Derby Hospital.

Sarah, 29, died in the hospital and Oliver died two days later. Paying tribute, Sue Pedley, Sarah's mum and Oliver's grandmother, said: "Sarah was born in 1991 at the Royal Derby Hospital and following a traumatic birth she suffered cerebral palsy. However, she was always a determined and resilient girl who did not let her difficulties hold her back.

"She learned to swim, ride a bike, ride a horse, go on the biggest rides in Florida, achieved academically, gaining diplomas and a foundation degree. She was happily married in 2017 and had recently moved into her dream home in preparation for the baby to come.

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"She was at her happiest and most excited to be expecting the arrival of her little boy Oliver until this devastating tragedy took her life suddenly on January 3, 2021, followed by the death of Oliver on January 5, 2021."

Derby Coroners' Court heard on November 24, 2022, how Mrs Hallaway, who had a heart condition as well as cerebral palsy, suddenly collapsed and emergency medical services attended. An emergency C-section was performed on Mrs Hallaway and she and Oliver were then taken to the Royal Derby Hospital.

Mrs Hallaway died on the day of the C-section. Oliver was said to have been in a poorly condition when he was born and passed away two days later.

Over 60 tributes have been left for Mrs Hallaway and her premature baby, with those who knew her describing her as "an inspiration" and "remarkable." Lisa Shilton said: "Sarah, you were an absolute delight to know, your disability never stopped you from achieving your very best and beyond.

"I’d look at you and you'd be an inspiration... you're going to be greatly missed Sarah you were and always will be one of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."

The inquest, which took place from Monday, November 21, to Thursday, November 25, heard evidence from family members and medical experts including Mrs Pedley and Dr Alastair McCance, a cardiology specialist. The coroner, Mr Peter Nieto, said that both Mrs Hallaway and baby Oliver died of natural causes.

In a further tribute to Mrs Hallaway and Oliver, Marie Purves wrote: "Sarah was a remarkable young woman and neither her or Oliver will ever be forgotten."n Kate Manley added: "It goes without saying what an amazing, beautiful, courageous girl Sarah was but above all she was such fun and great company...Our lovely day on the cobbles of Corrie for Sarah’s 18th birthday will remain in my heart as a warm special memory forever."

Mrs Hallaway’s medical cause of death was ruled as mitral valve prolapse and ventricular fibrillation, the latter condition referring to when the lower heart chambers contract quickly and in a highly erratic manner, preventing the heart from pumping blood to the rest of the body.

Oliver’s medical cause of death was ruled as severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (when the brain gets too little oxygen), prematurity (birth at 31 weeks) and emergency delivery following sudden maternal cardiovascular collapse.

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