Eight-week-old baby dies after being sent home from hospital twice because he fell asleep


The parents of Tommy Ivor Hayes have spoken out about their heartbreak after losing their eight-week-old son who was rushed to Torbay Hospital in Devon twice before his death

Tommy Ivor Hayes
Toddler Tommy Ivor Hayes was sent home twice from hospital with just a leaflet

An eight-week-old baby was sent home from hospital twice in the days leading up to his death.

The grieving parents of Tommy Ivor Hayes say paramedics rushed the little one to Torbay Hospital on two separate occasions as he was struggling to breathe.

Heartbroken mum, Anya Hayes, 19, was then unable to rouse the youngster from his morning nap on Sunday, and urgently called for her medic neighbour to help.

But despite the nurse’s best efforts, along with CPR performed by paramedics, they were unable to save him, Devon Live reports.

Tommy’s devastated father Liam Hayes, 21, said the youngster had been sent home from hospital twice because he fell asleep.

Liam, who works at Screwfix in Torquay, claims doctors didn’t prescribe any treatments, and that all they were given was a “leaflet”.

His devastated young parents are now having to contemplate Christmas without him


Liam Hayes / BPM Media)

He said: “He was my first born son and I cannot even spend that first Christmas with him.

“He was taken in to hospital by paramedics twice and the hospital sent him home both times when he fell asleep.”

Liam added. “They should have kept him in longer and woken him up. He wasn’t given any medication, or an inhaler or oxygen – all we had was just a leaflet.”

The couple, who also have a 16-month old daughter called Bonnie, said Tommy was born at a healthy 6lb 13oz.

But he began to get ill with a cold the week before he died and they had phoned 111 twice in the previous few days because he was struggling to breathe.

Liam said: “Anya noticed that when he was breathing it was like he was trying to take multiple breaths at once,” Liam said.

“On one occasion I was at work and she took a video of it and sent it to me.”

On Monday November 15 Tommy was rushed into Torbay Hospital by paramedics.

Liam said: “The paediatrician diagnosed him with Bronchiolitis and said luckily we had caught it early enough. Because Tommy fell asleep they sent Anya and him back home. But they promised us that if it got worse they would give him oxygen.”

On Thursday November 18 Tommy became worse at about 8pm in the evening, and Anya sent a video of him to Liam just as he was leaving work, and the couple decided to ring 111 again.

“He was wheezing really heavily and really quick,” Liam said.

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Again the paramedics decided Tommy needed hospital care and took him into Torbay with Anya. But the baby fell asleep on the way to hospital as the ambulance was queuing outside A&E.

Liam said: “Anya was talking to me on Snapchat. She was outside A&E for quite a while because there was a long queue of ambulances. Tommy fell asleep.

“When they got in they checked his breathing and could hear the wheezing. But because he was asleep his breathing wasn’t as quick as when he was awake and Anya showed them the video of what it was like.

“But they sent him home in the early hours of the morning.”

On Sunday morning Tommy had woken up at about 8am, had a bottle and went back to sleep. Liam was out and a cousin was staying to look after Bonnie so that Anya could go back to sleep.

He said: “Then at about 11.30am Anya woke up by instinct and found Tommy dead in his crib.

“She panicked and grabbed him and lay him on the bed and rang her mum. She didn’t know what to do and was rubbing his tummy.

“Our neighbour in the flats is a nurse and she came in and was giving him CPR. They rang me and I could hear the paramedics giving him CPR in the background and then they took the phone and told me that they were so sorry but they had had to stop the CPR and there was nothing more they could do and Tommy had died.”

Liam added: “We have been asked questions left, right and centre by the police who want answers as much as we do. But we have not heard anything from the hospital or had an apology.”

The couple live in a flat close to the Dolphin Pub, although they have not been able to return after Tommy’s death.

It was the pub landlord’s wife, Hayley Baker, a nurse, who was first on the scene when the parents found the youngster unresponsive.

Hayley tried to give him CPR before paramedics arrived.

She told Devon Live: “The paramedics tried for a very long time. It was the most brutal, horrible situation.”

A GoFundMe to help the family has already raised almost £5,000.

“They are such a young family and everybody knows them and the response has been fantastic”, Hayley said.

“They live next door to The Dolphin and the whole community has rallied around to try to help them. “

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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