Blakelaw couple open up on agony after RVI shortcomings led to son’s death 50 minutes after birth

The RVI in Newcastle accepted that a breach of duty led to Axwell’s death

A grieving couple left in "agony" by the loss of their newborn son are calling for vital measures to be put in place at the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary to make sure no other parents suffer the same devastation.

Axwell Savcak was delivered in a poor condition by caesarean at the RVI at 1:50 am on April 2021 and died 50 minutes after his birth.

Mum-to-be Vaida had been admitted to the delivery suite at 9:10 am the previous day and scans had shown causes for major concern - including decelerations in Axwell’s heart rate.

By 10:50 pm a heart rate scan monitor became 'pathological', indicating that Axwell could be in distress, a Hospital Trust admitted.

Despite nearly an hour of resuscitation when Axwell arrived into the world in the early hours of the morning, a post-mortem examination found he died from complications as a result of being starved of oxygen.

Following his death, an investigation was launched into the care provided by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs RVI.

The Trust admitted a breach of duty and apologised. It said that a decision to move to a caesarean section could have been made by 9:30 pm. If so, Axwell would have been born by 10:45 pm – nearly three hours before he was.

Axwell only lived for 50 minutes

Blakelaw couple Vaida, a 35-year-old production operator, and Aleks, a 37-year-old shift manager, have now spoken for the first time about their devastating loss.

Vaida said: “We’d always wanted a family and had tried for years to realise our dream. During that period we faced so many emotions and disappointment, that’s why we were so happy when we found out we were expecting Axwell. After so much pain we thought he was our little miracle who would make our family complete.

“Trying to come to terms with what happened is something I don’t think we’ll both ever get over. What should have been the happiest day of our lives turned to total despair. When we lost Axwell our lives changed forever.

“We had so many plans for the future and all we wanted was to bring Axwell home with us. Having to leave hospital and him behind was heartbreaking.

The RVI admitted a breach of duty

“We know nothing can make up for what’s happened but we take some small comfort as to at least now having answers to the many questions we had. However, we want to let others going through the same emotions as us following the loss of a baby, that it’s not their fault. They don’t have to suffer alone as help and support available.”

Aleks added: “We went from the highest point of our lives to absolute agony when we were told Axwell had died. While the months have passed it remains difficult not to think of how Axwell would be developing and how our house would be filled with joy.

“Walking past what would have been his nursery is a daily reminder of the pain we’re going through.

“We’d give anything to turn back the clock and for things to be different but we know that’s not possible. All we can do now is share what happened to us to make other parents aware. By speaking out we just hope lessons can be learned as we wouldn’t wish what we’re going through on anyone.”

Vaida and Aleks Savcak were left heartbroken last year

Lindsay Cole, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the couple, welcomed the Trust's admission of failings.

She said: “Following our investigations the Hospital Trust has admitted incredibly worrying issues in the care the family received.

“Axwell’s death is a stark reminder of the heartbreaking consequences families can be left to face because of care failings. While we welcome the Trust’s admission it’s now vital that lessons are learned to improve maternity safety for others.

“In the meantime, we continue to support Vaida and Aleks to ensure they can receive the specialist support they require to try and come to terms with their ordeal the best they can.”