"We swore to our little man we would fight for justice": Heartbroken dad of Finnley Morris speaks out

The father of Finnley Morris, the tragic newborn who suffered a serious brain injury due to being starved of oxygen, said doctors involved in his son's care would 'never be forgiven' after

Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:46 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 8:46 am

Finnley Morris was born in a poor condition, 'floppy, with no signs of breathing', at 00.22am on October 1 2020. He suffered a hypoxic brain injury, and died four days later of severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, where the nerve cells in the brain die as a result of a lack of blood supply and oxygen.

Today, coroner Alan Wilson ruled that Finnley would not have died had he not been neglected by doctors, who failed to effectively give him oxygen until it was too late.

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Finnley was born at the Vic on October 1 2020

Finnley's dad Adam Morris said: “The past 12 months have been hell for me and my wife. Our son Finnley never stood a chance of surviving, due to an unforgivable catalogue of errors that should never have occurred. The fact that Blackpool Victoria Hospital have admitted the causation of his passing by not following procedures and breach of duty, is a small mercy in what has been an unimaginably difficult year. Though the level of neglect that Finnley suffered will never be forgiven and they will always be held accountable for the unnecessary loss of our first child.

"You put your trust and life in the hands of doctors who are supposed to be heavily trained in their field. You expect them to be fully up to date with training and remember the fundamental basics of life support and airway management. You most certainly do not expect them to place your newborn baby at fatal risk by not providing adequate oxygen for over 50 minutes, failing to perform care due to staff getting lost on route to theatre, missing equipment that couldn't be located but was there all along, and failing to provide effective leadership during the resuscitation, mainly in the hands of Dr Surya Satya Kumari Dhuliapa (the registrar). These failings ultimately cost our son his life.

"There were other errors, including when Dr Sunitha Peiris arrived and forgot her glasses which meant that she could not intubate Finnley immediately.

"We know we are not the first to endure this wrong, it happens far too often and with minimal consequence to those who are responsible. Due to our experience we now have no confidence in being treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

"The effect of our loss will forever be felt throughout our lives. Instead of celebrating birthdays and milestones with our son, we are forced to do so at his graveside. A way in which no parent should have to. Finnley was a beautiful baby, who my wife and I will be forever proud of. Despite the suffering he was subjected to he continued to fight to the end. We swore to our little man that we would fight for his justice and can feel proud that we have done so, following the conclusion of the case. However, our fight will continue to ensure those responsible will never get an opportunity to cause such devastation again.”

Victoria Beel, principal lawyer at Slater and Gordon, who represented Mr and Mrs Morris, said: “It is very concerning that mistakes during such a basic requirement of securing a new born baby’s airway can happen. Finnley was needlessly without adequate oxygen for 50 minutes, which was unsurvivable. Despite a continuous conversation at cabinet level about the need to improve our record on maternity outcomes, we are still seeing the senseless and avoidable loss of babies at a devastating rate.

"I have been touched by the dignified way in which Mr and Mrs Morris have fought for justice on behalf of their son Finnley. I hope the conclusion of the Coroner today finding that Finnley’s death was contributed to by neglect, will contribute to raising standards in neonatal resuscitation.”