Dead baby's family let go of fight

By Cherie Taylor

Madison Manley-Clarke's family have given up fighting for answers from the midwife they say is responsible for her "botched birth".
They say the Health and Disabilities Commission has ignored their plight and they have no money to fight on after spending thousands of dollars seeking answers from the midwife they say left it too late to call for help during labour.
Madison was born lifeless at Rotorua Hospital after a 12-hour labour on September 3, 2006. Revived by doctors, she was taken to Waikato Hospital with severe brain injuries and sent home to die a month later with her 23-year-old mother, Naomi Manley. Madison died on July 16, 2007, aged 9 months.
A few months later the family won a battle with ACC when the public insurer agreed, after initially refusing, to pay her funeral costs and for her care while she was alive.
Before ACC reversed its decision, the family supplied it with a tape they recorded during the birth, as proof they asked the midwife much earlier to call for help when Madison became stuck and with the delivery not progressing.
The baby's family continued to fight for answers from the midwife, through the Health and Disabilities Commission but have now given up, saying they have run out of money and emotional energy to fight on.
Madison's grandmother Lena Stirrup said fighting for answers had taken both an emotional and financial toll.
"They were just drawing it out ... it's just been so hard for us all to fight the system," she said. "We were just feeling as though we were fighting a losing battle. It was gut-wrenching because we knew they were going to win, no matter what we said or did. Our words were twisted and we felt as though it was never going to stop."
Ms Manley moved to Hastings six weeks ago to start a new life.
"We won't ever forget Madison, but we have to all move on now.

Naomi was feeling as though she was losing Madison all over again. It's time for us to put to rest."
The family will hold an unveiling for Madison later this year.
Rae Lamb, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner of Complaints and Resolution, said Madison's family's complaint was finalised in March.
"This is a very sad case and we have the deepest sympathy for the family."
No information provided by the family was altered, Ms Lamb said.
If the family had concerns about the investigation process or new information not yet considered, they could seek a review or approach the Ombudsman, she said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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