‘All we’re left with is his ashes’: Parents speak out after son’s death on Leicester maternity unit


A couple who lost their newborn son are pleading for a review to “stop any more healthy babies from dying.”

Preeti Joshi was lucky to survive a ruptured uterus during labour but baby Ansh suffered brain damage and died days later after what the couple describe as a catalogue of failures from Leicester’s maternity services.

Preeti, and her husband Rishi, have spoken out after the health watchdog said that lives were at risk at two of Leicester’s maternity units, due to understaffing and delays.

The couple had originally been planning a home birth for Ansh, their second child, but Preeti was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary in April last year after their son was found to be positioned too high.

After repeated delays – due to missing equipment – baby Ansh was delivered. But by then it was too late.

“When they opened me up they found him, and he was near my diaphragm, and he was drowned in a pool of my blood, just under three litres I read in my notes afterwards,” Preeti said.

She continued: “They managed to resuscitate him after four minutes of CPR but it was too late, his brain had gone without oxygen for a long time.

“So we got to hold him for the first time after two days as they were taking his ventilator and… “

“Waiting for his heart to stop basically,” Rishi finishes.

Preeti says that the sequence of failures in the maternity unit was obvious.

“It should never have got to that stage. For me, those were the things that went wrong. It wasn’t just one thing, it was a domino effect and we just fell through the net.

“Not at any point did one person pick up on something – this is wrong.”

The report into baby Ansh’s death had been redacted – multiple times. The family also have serious doubts about its independence.

Just last week, a Care Quality Commission report downgraded maternity services at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’.

This flagged to Preeti and Rishi that their own awful experience could be part of a pattern.

They’ve now engaged lawyers to take on their case and are calling for an independent review into the trust’s maternity services.

“There needs to be an independent inquiry into it and look at other cases, other parents who have not been able to come forward like we have. And hear their voices. And hopefully we are speaking on their behalf as well,” Rishi said.