Twin Babies to Be Taken Off Life Support Without Ever Seeing Their Mom

twin babies life support placental abruption

I have a very, very sad story to share today, and the reason I’m sharing it is because while I am not a religious person, I do believe in the power of positive thoughts. I believe, for whatever fuzzy reasons, that when people turn their attention to a struggling family’s plight, some good may come of that, whether it’s in the form of donations or simply bearing witness to their sorrow.

Jocelyn Bennett is a 27-year-old British woman who’s currently in a coma while her premature daughters are dying. The babies will be taken off life support today, likely before their mother will even have a chance to see or hold them.


Jocelyn was 32 weeks pregnant when she dialed emergency services at 5:39 last Wednesday morning after being awakened by severe pain. When a first responder arrived 12 minutes later at her building, she was unable to answer the buzzer, and crews spent half an hour trying to gain emergency access to her third floor apartment — including calling her partner, her parents, and neighbors in the building. It wasn’t until police arrived at 6:10 a.m.that the paramedics could reach her, at which time her heart had stopped.

Jocelyn had suffered a placental abruption, a rare but serious condition where the placenta peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. Her twins Melody, 4 pounds 1 ounce, and Rose, 3 pounds, were delivered via emergency caesarian section at Birmingham Women's Hospital, but the babies had endured multiple organ failure.

The girls will be taken off life support today. The family has christened them and held a Christmas party for them, and they’ve been told Jocelyn may have suffered brain damage. She has a 3-year-old son, Slater, and according to her mom, she’d had a trouble-free pregnancy up until this tragic incident last week.

Her father blames an inefficient entry system for the delay in getting Jocelyn the medical help she so desperately needed:

It could have all been so different if the ambulance crews could have reached her earlier. The fact that paramedics couldn't get in was down to the terrible entry system at the building. There needs to be a better way for emergency services to access these flats. Because of this, I will lose my two precious grandchildren and my daughter is fighting for her life. (...) We’ve taken lots of pictures for Jocelyn to see when she does wake up. She may not even remember being pregnant as she could have brain damage. But we want her to see what her little girls were like. They are beautiful.

Something needs to be done by the council about this because if there is another emergency, this could happen again. I cannot fault the paramedics and the police as they tried their best to get to Jocelyn as quickly as they could.

Birmingham City Council said they will investigate why the ambulance crew was unable to gain access to Jocelyn’s home. Jocelyn’s father says he’s not surprised neighbors didn’t answer when they were buzzed, thanks to recent police raids in the neighborhood:

If any residents see flashing blue lights they don't answer their calls because they fear it'll be another raid. No one answered their buzzers when the paramedics tried them. (...) There are vulnerable people living in that building and the council has a duty of care for them. A better system needs to be in place.

Jocelyn also experienced multi-organ failure and her prognosis is uncertain. If you’re the praying sort, or the good-thoughts sort, take a moment to think of this family today and hope that something can be salvaged from what sounds like a terrible accidental tragedy. If I find any donation information for Jocelyn’s family, I’ll update this post, and I’ll be thinking of her and her poor babies.


Image via goodspeed/Flickr

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