Heroic midwife’s quick thinking saves Louth woman’s baby

A Louth mother has spoken of her relief and gratitude towards a local midwife whose quick-thinking saved her baby daughter’s life.

Adrian Collins-Anderson, Midwife Angela Chapman with Mollie-Ann, and Joanne Collins-Anderson.

Joanne Collins-Anderson, 33, told the Leader the dramatic story of how she ended a ten day isolation period on September 29 after she and her whole family went down with Covid-19, only to be hit with another health crisis after sensing that her unborn daughter - still three weeks away from her due date - had unusually reduced movement and didn’t feel quite right.

Following a dramatic turn of events, and despite being just moments away from tragedy, Joanne’s baby was born happy and healthy - thanks to the actions of superhero midwife Angela Chapman.

Joanne said: “I was the last one [in my family] to come out of isolation on September 29. I had a really bad cough, hot sweats, and couldn’t get out of bed. We had to cancel scans, as I couldn’t go to the hospital due to being in isolation.

Midwife Angela Chapman with Mollie-Ann

“The night before coming out of isolation, I noticed that the baby, which was normally very active, was not moving as much. I thought maybe she was just having a quiet night. But the next morning, something still didn’t feel right.”

Joanne was due to go into Grimsby Hospital for a growth scan that afternoon, but due to her concerns she called the hospital and was advised to go in early by midwife Angela Chapman - who would later become her saviour.

The monitor showed that the baby’s heartbeat was still fine at 11am, which was a relief to Joanne, and she returned home before heading back to the hospital for her growth scan appointment at 3pm.

During the afternoon appointment, Joanne said that the atmosphere didn’t seem normal and the sonographer seemed unusually quiet.

Afterwards, when Joanne was in the waiting area, the midwife Angela brought the scan paperwork out and “her face was just white” - before informing Joanne that her baby’s growth had stopped.

Although Joanne was due to have an appointment with the consultant two days later, Angela insisted that she would fetch the consultant straight away just to be on the safe side - a decision which would help to save the baby’s life.

Taking into account that Joanne had recently suffered with Covid-19, the consultant decided Joanne should have a ‘sweep’ and that labour would be induced the following day.

After the sweep, Joanne was asked to have one last check on the heart monitor, and discovered that her baby’s heartbeat had suddenly started to rapidly decline - resulting in a ‘red alert’ and an emergency caesarean.

Shortly before 5pm - less than two hours after arriving at the hospital for the growth scan - Joanne gave birth to a healthy daughter, Mollie-Ann Kay Collins-Anderson.

Joanne told the Leader it is suspected that Covid-19 may have caused problems in the umbilical cord or placenta, which had resulted in the risk to her daughter’s health while she was still in the womb.

Joanne said: “Angela’s actions saved my baby’s life. Within a split second, she was running around and getting the consultants to see me.

“If she’d just given me my paperwork and sent me home and said come back on Friday for my next appointment, it would be a different story.

“They’re all saying at the hospital that [Mollie-Ann] was just seconds or minutes away from not being here if it wasn’t for Angela’s actions.”

Joanne, husband Adrian, and baby Mollie-Ann visited Louth County Hospital on Friday (October 8) to surprise Angela with a bouquet of flowers and a big thank you.

Joanne said: “Angela stated she retired five years ago but she just fills in for sickness and holidays. So the fact she was there when I was... It was a miracle.

“She said again that if I hadn’t complained about the reduced movements, and then seen the scan noticing her growth had stopped, then Mollie-Ann wouldn’t be here today.”

Joanne would like to say a special thank you to the team on the maternity ward at Grimsby, including midwife Eleanor who was with her during the emergency procedure, and the Honeysuckle Ward team.

Joanne also added that expectant mothers should always be aware of their baby’s movements, listen to their “mother’s instinct”, and never feel like they’re wasting anyone’s time if they feel that something is not quite right.

• Visit the NHS website for more information and advice about pregnancy, labour, and birth.