Pregnant Woman Wakes on Morning of Her C-Section to Find Partner Has Died in His Sleep

A pregnant woman from Greater Manchester in England woke to find her partner dead on the day of her cesarean section, a court heard on Tuesday, June 4

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 16:31:04 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 16:31:04

A pregnant woman from Greater Manchester in England woke to find her partner dead on the day of her cesarean section, a court heard on Tuesday, June 4.

Rebecca Moss, from the town of Stretford, told her partner Thomas Gibson, 40, "Wake up, it's baby day," at around 5:15 a.m. local time on June 7, 2023. However, he'd suffered a cardiac arrest while sleeping on the couch, per outlets including the BBC, Sky News, and The Independent.

An inquest at Stockport Coroner's Court heard that a doctor had misinterpreted a scan after Gibson attended Wythenshawe Hospital's Accident and Emergency department on May 27, per the BBC. The outlet added that he had experienced a severe stomach bug for around three weeks before this.

Moss recalled finding her partner "cold and stiff" when she tried to wake him 11 days after the scan, before she gave birth to their daughter, Harper, hours later on the day he died, the outlet stated.

"I called 999 (911) immediately. They asked me to pull Tom onto the floor and perform chest compressions. I started chest compressions until the ambulance arrived," Moss told the hearing, per Sky News.

"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," she added, per the BBC.

Moss remembered her "caring, charming, and funny" partner in court, recalling how he'd spent every weekend up until their baby's birth building furniture. Baby Harper will celebrate her first birthday this week.

“He won’t be there for any of her birthdays,” Moss said, according to The Independent

“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," she added, per the outlet. “We say good night to his picture every night before bed and she has a quilt which has been made from his favorite jumpers."

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“Tom will live on through his daughter but that doesn’t change the fact that he should still be here with us today,” she continued of Gibson, who worked in a timber yard and was considered to be physically fit before his illness, per The Independent

The inquest heard that when Gibson went to hospital with his symptoms, an electrocardiogram (ECG) was carried out. 

A junior doctor found signs of a potential blockage and flagged it to Thomas Bull, a more senior doctor, who gave evidence in court, the BBC stated. 

Per Sky News, Dr Bull said the abnormality seen in the ECG scan was likely to be something he described as an intraventricular block. 

The outlet stated the medical registrar had said this was "not an uncommon finding" and not clinically "significant" without further heart symptoms. "I advised if there's no heart symptoms generally then that would not require any investigation at this time," the doctor said, per the outlet.

It was later revealed that the scan had identified a complete heart block which can lead to sudden cardiac death, according to The Independent

The doctor said, “I can see now, in retrospect and in hindsight, there is abnormalities over and above those I could see present," the outlet reported.

Gibson had been told to return to the hospital in a week if his stomach bug symptoms didn't improve, The Independent stated.

Lawyers for Gibson's family stated that Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust had made a full admission of liability that it provided negligent medical care to him before his death, per the BBC.

“This is not a barn door easy miss,” Dr Matthew Thornber, a consultant at the hospital, said of the ECGs not being "textbook" examples of a heart block condition, per The Independent.

Manchester South Coroner's Service and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust didn't immediately respond when contacted by PEOPLE.

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