First-time mother with coronavirus is forced to give birth in hospital’s bereavement room


A first-time mother with coronavirus welcomed her ‘magic’ IVF baby after having to give birth in a bereavement room used for stillbirths.

Pregnant Claire Trusson, 37, started to experience ‘cold’ symptoms just weeks before she was due and went into isolation – until she started having contractions.

At St Helier Hospital in Sutton, medics had to put her in the most isolated room on the ward to keep her away from all others – which happened to be the bereavement delivery room.

Mrs Trusson, from Carshalton, went home and a day later tested positive for the virus – just a week before she found herself back in the bereavement suite to safely give birth to baby Jake. 

She had become pregnant after having IVF in August 2019 following two years of struggling to start a family with her husband Murray Mitchell, 33.  

Claire Trusson tested positive for the virus – just a week before she found herself in the bereavement suite to safely give birth to baby Jake

Mrs Trusson and her husband are still concerned about passing the virus onto their three-week-old son, due to a lack of facemasks

Mrs Trusson and her husband are still concerned about passing the virus onto their three-week-old son, due to a lack of facemasks

Mrs Trusson and her husband are still concerned about passing the virus onto their three-week-old son, due to a lack of facemasks.  

She said: ‘Every little sneeze and every little cough and every little cry, I jump on him like ‘oh god, you’ve got coronavirus.’

‘It sounds really reckless, but it’s really hard to look after a baby and them not see your face – and I didn’t really have any face masks.

‘I just had the one they gave me in the hospital which is a disposable one – after a couple of days it is soggy and wet, and probably full of germs.

‘I don’t even know how to make a face mask.

‘I’m just trying not to breathe on him.’ 

On the way home from hospital, Jake met his grandmother Angela and uncle David through the car window.

Claire Trusson become pregnant after having IVF in August 2019 following two years of struggling to start a family with her husband Murray Mitchell, 33

Claire Trusson become pregnant after having IVF in August 2019 following two years of struggling to start a family with her husband Murray Mitchell, 33

Mrs Trusson said giving birth six weeks early while suffering from the virus was stressful - and she even wore a mask while caring for him in the early days

Mrs Trusson said giving birth six weeks early while suffering from the virus was stressful – and she even wore a mask while caring for him in the early days

Mrs Trusson said giving birth six weeks early while suffering from the virus was stressful – and she even wore a mask while caring for him in the early days.

She added that she only found out this week that the room she gave birth in was the bereavement room.  

‘They have a memorial clock on the wall, and because I was timing my contractions when I was first in there, I spent a lot of time staring at that clock,’ she said.

‘I found it quite comforting in a way – it’s so full of love.

‘I did think at one point, ”it’s a strange choice to have a memorial clock in a room where women are labouring.”

‘But in the scheme of things, I am super lucky – I’m well, he’s well and really it’s amazing.

‘In a way, I am really grateful that I didn’t have another six weeks of anxiety of what giving birth would look like.’

On March 15, Mrs Trusson had started isolating after what she thought was just a bad cold developed into a persistent cough.

However after experiencing contractions for 24 hours, she was admitted to St Helier Hospital, Carshalton.

On March 15, Mrs Trusson had started isolating after what she thought was just a bad cold developed into a persistent cough

On March 15, Mrs Trusson had started isolating after what she thought was just a bad cold developed into a persistent cough

She informed staff of her symptoms before entering the hospital, and was isolated with her husband in the bereavement suite – to keep them away from others.

Mrs Trusson was sent home after two days to wait for her Covid-19 results, with painkillers for the early labour pain.

A day later the test came back positive – Mrs Trusson and her husband, a luxury travel agent, were told to isolate for 14 days.

However a week later, on March 30, Mrs Trusson’s contractions became more frequent, and she returned to the same hospital.

By the time she made it back to the isolated bereavement suite, the midwife could see the baby’s head.

Mrs Trusson said: ‘I didn’t want to go back into hospital.

‘I knew from when I had been there, I felt like a bit of a drain on them.

‘They’ve got babies rushing in and you’ve got the midwives stuck in with me having to peel off their PPE and wash their hands ten times.

‘Midwives need to be able to run in and out and help people when they need to help people.’

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