Deaf mothers sues Department of Human Services after baby dies from SIDS

A Deaf mum who says her newborn daughter died because she was forced to co-sleep with her is suing the Department of Human Services.

The heartbroken mother, who can’t be named for legal reasons, carries her baby’s ashes with her as a reminder of her “little angel”.

Her baby was just seven weeks old when she died from SIDS several years ago.

The mother told the Herald Sun the memory of waking up next to her dead child would haunt her for the rest of her life.

“Her death devastated us beyond comprehension. She was an angel, too perfect for this world,” she said.

She said she had to co-sleep with her baby after DHS failed to provide a special monitoring device she said it promised. The device would send vibration alerts if the child was in trouble.

In a writ filed with the Supreme Court, she claims the DHS and the State of Victoria failed in their duty of care.

She is claiming damages for personal injuries as a result of the newborn’s death, due to the negligence or breach of duty by DHS to provide adequate assistance for the proper and safe care of the baby.

The woman said that without the monitoring device, there was no way for her to know if her child was in trouble in another room.

She said on one occasion the baby had been saved by a sibling who woke after hearing her struggle to breathe.

After that she refused to let the baby sleep alone.

She said DHS promised the $2000 device a week after the birth because it had raised concerns about her sleeping with the child.

“Several weeks later I phoned DHS again to let them know the monitor was urgently needed because (the baby) had aspirated in her sleep and her sibling had brought her to me after hearing her struggling to breathe.

“The monitor was again promised to be provided in a timely manner but it wasn’t provided,” she said.

The mother said despite repeated requests, an order for the device wasn’t placed until a day before her baby died.

“DHS are supposed to help those in need before something happens,” she said.

“They stole such a bright burning light from us and provided nothing but heartache.”

A DHS spokesman said he could not comment while the matter was before the courts.

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Aids, Equipment, Technology, Legal, Corrections, Justice System, Parents, Families, Children

Shannon Deery

Herald Sun

Date published:
Thu 2nd Jul, 2015