Mum begged ‘wake up, it’s baby day’ after husband suffered fatal heart attack just hours before she gave birth

A MUM-TO-BE begged “wake up, it’s baby day” ahead of a planned C-section, only to find her husband had died.

Rebecca Moss tried to give emergency first aid to Thomas Gibson before an ambulance arrived and he was pronounced dead, an inquest heard.

Rebecca Moss with her late partner Thomas Gibson

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Rebecca Moss with her late partner Thomas GibsonCredit: PA
Mr Gibson, 40, died due to negligent medical care on the same day as the birth of their first child

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Mr Gibson, 40, died due to negligent medical care on the same day as the birth of their first childCredit: PA
Doctors had misread the 40-year-old's abnormal heart scan

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Doctors had misread the 40-year-old’s abnormal heart scanCredit: PA
Mrs Moss described her partner as 'caring, charming and funny' and said he was excited at becoming a father

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Mrs Moss described her partner as ‘caring, charming and funny’ and said he was excited at becoming a fatherCredit: PA

Doctors had misread the 40-year-old’s abnormal heart scan.

Heartbroken Mrs Moss gave birth to their daughter, Harper, hours later in hospital, Stockport Coroner’s Court was told.

At the inquest into Mr Moss’ death, a hospital doctor said he had misinterpreted an electrocardiogram (ECG) scan carried out 11 days earlier, when he had gone to A&E suffering from a severe stomach bug.

Tearful Ms Moss, from Stretford, Greater Manchester, told the hearing she woke up at around 5.15am on June 7 last year, the date of her elective Caesarean, and went downstairs.

She said: “Tom was asleep on the couch. I was trying to cheer him up and was saying ‘Wake up, it’s baby day’.

“Tom didn’t respond, so I went over to the couch to give him a kiss. He was lying in his usual sleeping position.

“When I touched him, he was cold and stiff. He wouldn’t wake up.

“I called 999 immediately. They asked me to pull Tom on to the floor and perform chest compressions. I started chest compressions until the ambulance arrived.

“The shock, trauma and not to mention the physical exertion of having to pull Tom off the couch and perform chest compressions at 39 weeks pregnant was overwhelming.”

Ms Moss gave birth to Harper later the same morning.

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She described her partner as “caring, charming and funny” and said he was excited at becoming a father, spending every weekend building furniture for their baby.

Ms Moss said their daughter will celebrate her first birthday this Friday but without her father.

“He won’t be there for any of her birthdays,” she added. “He won’t ever be there on Christmas morning, and he won’t be there on Father’s Day. Harper will instead visit her dad’s grave when she’s old enough to understand.

“We say good night to his picture every night before bed and she has a quilt which has been made from his favourite jumpers.

“Tom will live on through his daughter but that doesn’t change the fact that he should still be here with us today.”

The inquest heard that Mr Gibson worked in a timber yard and was physically fit but had been suffering from a stomach bug, including cramps and diarrhoea, for around three weeks before his death.

It culminated in him attending the A&E at Wythenshawe Hospital on May 27 last year.

He was seen by Dr Oliver Handley, who recognised that his ECG trace showed signs of an abnormality and referred it to a more senior medic, Dr Thomas Bull, the medical registrar, for a second opinion.

Dr Bull said the ECG scan was likely to represent an abnormality he described as an intraventricular block, which is “not an uncommon finding” and not clinically “significant” without other heart-related symptoms.

“I advised if there’s no heart symptoms generally then that would not require any investigation at this time,” Dr Bull said.

Later analysis concluded that the ECG identified a complete heart block, also known as a third-degree heart block, the most serious kind, which can lead to sudden cardiac death, according to lawyers for the family.

Dr Bull added: “I can see now, in retrospect and in hindsight, there is abnormalities over and above those I could see present.”

Tom will live on through his daughter but that doesn’t change the fact that he should still be here with us today.

Rebecca Moss

No immediate treatment was deemed necessary, and Mr Gibson was discharged and asked to go back in a week if his severe stomach illness had not improved.

He was found dead 11 days later from sudden cardiac death, a pathologist concluded.

Lawyers for Mr Gibson’s relatives said Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has made a full admission of liability that it provided negligent medical care to him in the days before his death.

Dr Matthew Thornber, a consultant at the hospital, said the two ECGs taken were not “textbook” examples of looking like a heart block condition and such diagnosis requires nuance and experience.

“This is not a barn door easy miss,” he said.

The inquest continues.


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