THE family of a baby boy who died as a result of medical failings during his delivery have said they can never forgive the medics responsible.

Andrew Witkowska-Blunden died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton two days after he was born in January 2017.

Andrew and twin brother Arthur were born at 32 weeks, but Andrew’s skull was fractured as doctors tried to deliver him with forceps during the traumatic birth.

An inquest into Andrew’s death found he died as a result of medical misadventure – and that he suffered acute trauma during a “deeply flawed” delivery.

The coroner was highly critical of the decision by consultant Jubril Ajala to attempt to deliver Andrew using forceps.

His parents Edyta Witkowska and Mike Blunden have now received a settlement from the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust but said they will never be able to forgive the doctors involved in his birth.

Firefighter Mike, 43, of the Ridgeway, Woodingdean, said: “The doctor who made the decision to use forceps on Andrew is still working for the trust.

“We still feel angry – not to all of the trust or all of the staff but to the members of the delivery team that took the decision that killed Andrew. Dr Jubril Ajala made that decision.

“Arthur has just started nursery. Then he will be starting school.

“I just wonder all the time what sort of person Andrew would have grown into.

“Would he have been like his brother? Would they have looked similar? Would their personalities have been the same? All those things have been taken away from us.

“The mistakes that were made were unforgivable.

“They were such fundamental, basic mistakes that shouldn’t have happened.

“It is hard to forgive that.

“I can’t be confident that the trust has made changes to prevent this happing again.

“The trust promised during the court case to improve training, they said they would be in contact with us about what they are doing to change, but they haven’t contacted us.”

Arthur, now three, will never remember his brother. The family have just one picture of the twins, cuddled up together in Andrew’s incubator. They spent just half an hour together before Andrew died.

“We will have to explain this to Arthur at some point,” said Mike.

“At the moment he is too young to understand. We took him to Andrew’s grave but he didn’t understand. I dread the fact that we are going to have to explain it to him.”

Mike and Edyta, 40, have now had a baby girl Emilia, but could not bring themselves to return to the Royal Sussex County Hospital when she was born.

“Emilia was born at the Princess Royal instead,” Mike said.

“It was hard because we know the worst possible outcome of what can happen.

“We are trying to put it behind us but we will never be able to fully.

“We need to live our lives for Arthur and Emilia. If we dwell on what happened we have no chance.

“Life is busy with two children, but your child dying like this isn’t something you can put behind you.”

At the inquest, Brighton and Hove Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley condemned the hospital’s failure to follow “national and local protocols” and said “communication during the delivery was deeply flawed” leading to the catastrophic failures that led to Andrew’s injuries.

The family have received an undisclosed payout from the Brighton and Sussex University Trust for the failings that led to Andrew’s death.

They said the money will be put into a trust fund for Arthur and Emilia.

Mike said: “We are going to put the money into a trust for when the kids are older. Our children were all born through IVF, so this settlement means that if we decided we wanted more children there would be money for that

“It is a very hard thing to be awarded the payment. We don’t want to feel we’ve profited off the death of our son. But they made mistakes that cost Arthur’s life.

"It is right to be compensated for that.”

Solicitor Arti Shah, of Fieldfisher, who acted for the Witkowska-Blunden family in their case against the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust, said: “Edyta and Mike have experienced the most terrible loss of a baby in tragic and avoidable circumstances.

“I am very pleased that this settlement will allow them as far as possible to move forward with their lives and to enjoy their young family.”


The hospital trust has promised to make changes and ensure that no other babies suffer the same fate as Andrew Witkowski-Blunden.

At the inquest into Andrew’s death coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley concluded he died from “medical misadventure”.

Edyta Witkowski went into labour with the twins eight weeks early, but whilst Arthur was healthy - Andrew was fighting for his life.

On-call consultant Jubril Ajala resorted to using forceps to try to deliver Andrew after his heart rate rapidly dropped.

He pulled twice but this was also unsuccessful so the team was forced to carry out an urgent caesarean.

In the following hours Arthur developed a haemorrhage causing his head to swell rapidly and after two days in a coma he died in the Trevor Mann’s intensive care unit.

Brighton and Hove Dr Ryan Watkins, chief of the children and women’s division at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, said: “We are very sorry to Ms Witkowska, Mr Blunden and their family for this terrible loss.

"We invited the family to participate in our internal investigation back in 2017 and shared the results of that investigation with them at the time.

"We have written to them again today to update them on the progress we have made since.

“Our investigation and the subsequent coroner’s inquest highlighted a number of areas where we needed to improve and we have done all we can to make sure something like this can’t happen in future.

“We work hard to learn from tragic incidents and continue to make every effort to improve.”