Baby Laura Madden – R.I.P.

Laura Madden RIP - IMAG0181

First of all – Thank You

Thanks to all of you for all the kind words, comments, calls, visits, flowers & gifts we have received over the past few days. Our world has been turned upside down since last week and we are still devastated at the loss of our lovely little baby Laura.

Summary of Events

Laura was born on Friday 20th April and seemed perfectly normal. We all spent a few wonderful hours bonding and Laura was transferred to the ward where she had the first little blip where she occasionally struggled to breathe. As the day progressed, the breathing difficulties increased in frequency and progressed to choking incidents which became more and more frightening. A doctor was called to see her and it was decided to move her to the Special Care Baby Unit where they carried out some tests. Very quickly she was diagnosed with OA/TOF – a condition that affected her oesophagus:

Oesophageal Atresia (OA)

In oesophageal atresia there is a break in the continuity of the oesophagus. The end nearest the mouth is not attached to the end which enters the stomach, the gap usually occurring high up in the chest. The presence of a blind-ending pouch in the upper oesophagus means that food is unable to reach the stomach; any swallowed milk or saliva instead returns to the mouth.

Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula (TOF)

A fistula, from the Latin meaning ‘a pipe,’ is an abnormal connection running either between two tubes or between a tube and a surface. In tracheo-oesophageal fistula it runs between the trachea and the oesophagus. This connection may or may not have a central cavity; if it does, then food within the oesophagus may pass into the trachea (and on to the lungs) or alternatively, air in the trachea may cross into the oesophagus.


Laura was transferred to Chelsea & Westminster Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Saturday morning and was scheduled for surgery the following day . We said goodbye to her at 12:30pm outside the Operating Theatre and waited while the operation commenced. Just before 6pm we were advised that all was not going well with the operation and that Laura had been resuscitated a number of times but was not responding. We rushed to the operating theatre in a state of shock and disbelief and stood outside while the life of our little baby hung in the balance. Sadly, she did not survive despite the surgeons best efforts. It seems that the operation was far more complicated than originally thought and just after 6pm, Laura was pronounced dead.

It is the most awful feeling to be completely helpless when your child is in a grave situation. We had not even considered that she might not live through the operation but sometimes life can be cruel. The staff at the NICU at Chelsea & Westminster hospital were absolutely fantastic – they offered Laura incredible care in her short time there and all the staff were visibly affected by her death. They showed incredible compassion for us when Laura died and they bent over backwards to make us comfortable.in the aftermath. They made our difficult time so much easier and we thank them very much for that.


The one silver lining in all of this is the overwhelming amount of support and love that has come our way since Laura’s untimely death. People have been so kind… we’ve had meals, gifts & flowers dropped off to us & support has come from friends and family in London, Ireland, Manchester & the rest of the UK, Abu Dhabi, Croatia, Greece & New Zealand amongst others. Thanks to everyone who showed they care for us. Support really has been overwhelming and a joy to behold.

Funeral This Friday 4th May 2012

We don’t want anyone to feel under any pressure whatsoever to attend, but everyone is of course welcome to come and celebrate Laura’s life with us. It will be nice to see anyone who can make it.

The funeral service is this coming Friday 4th May at St. Edmund of Canterbury Catholic Church, St. Edmund’s Lane, 213 Nelson Road, Whitton, Twickenham, TW2 7BB at 1pm. There is some parking available in the car park, otherwise you can park along Nelson Road.

Following the service we will travel to Borough Cemetery, Powder Mill Lane, Twickenham, TW2 6EJ for the burial at approximately 2pm

After the burial we shall make our way to the Duke of York Pub at 672 Hanworth Road, Hounslow, TW4 5NP where we will celebrate baby Laura’s short life.

We would ask for family flowers only please, to be delivered to Lodge Brothers Funeral Directors, 108 High Street, Feltham, Middlesex, TW13 4EX by 9:30am on the day of the funeral. If anyone would like to make a donation in lieu of flowers, this may be given via Lodge Brothers and will go directly to the charity that benefits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital where Laura was cared for in her final hours. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Chelsea & Westminster Health Charity – Neonatal Unit Fund 137’ – with your name and address on the back of the cheques.

Thanks once again for all your kind wishes & thoughts. Your love has been amazing.

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