Nothing can be done to turn back the clock for the heartbroken parents of Violet Herdman.
But Emma Sharp and Colin Herdman are determined to make sure their daughter did not die in vain.
The couple, from Pegswood near Morpeth in Northumberland, are demanding answers after their daughter died of whooping cough aged just five weeks old.
Emma, 33, said: “Violet’s death has left the entire family in pieces and at the moment it feels like every day is a struggle.
“We only had two weeks of her at home and I cannot help but think of all the things she missed out on – it’s absolutely heart breaking.”
The distraught parents welcomed Violet into the world prematurely on March 26 at Wansbeck Hospital. She was discharged 10 days later.
Within a couple of weeks, Violet was admitted to North Tyneside Hospital after Emma and Colin became concerned their daughter was not interested in feeding and was struggling with breathing. She underwent tests but was again discharged.
Violet’s conditioned worsened and the following day Emma, who has four other children aged between 12 and 22 months, had to resuscitate her when she stopped breathing.
She was taken back to North Tyneside Hospital and the couple were told she may have pneumonia. She was later transferred to the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle for ventilation support.
It was not until Violet suffered a full cardiac arrest, believed to have been caused by a blood infection, that Emma and Colin were told for the first time Violet had whopping cough.
Doctors said that by then there was nothing more that could be done for her and after being baptised in hospital, the couple made the heart breaking decision to allow her life support to be switched off.
Emma and Colin have now instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to look into the death, on May 1 this year.
Irwin Mitchell are investigating why Emma was not given a whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy, as well as whether more could have been done in the days before her death.
“Having to resuscitate Violet at home in front of my children was absolutely horrendous and I’m sure will continue to affect us all for years to come,” said Emma.
“Before we can even begin to think about coming to terms with what has happened, Colin and I need answers about why I was not offered a vaccine and why no link was made between Violet’s symptoms and whooping cough.
“Nothing can turn back the clock for us but for Violet’s death not to be completely in vain we need reassurance that every NHS Trust provides vaccines for pregnant women and that staff are trained to recognise the condition so it can be treated appropriately.
“It’s too late for Violet but it might just help prevent another family going through the same hell as us.”
Michelle Armstrong, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office representing the couple, said: “This is a tragic case and Violet’s parents have been left devastated by her sudden death.
“We hope that the Trust will now work with us quickly and amicably to provide answers for Emma and Colin that will help them to come to terms with what has happened.”A spokesperson for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to Violet’s family for their tragic loss earlier this year.
“We are in touch with Violet’s parents and are already fully investigating the circumstances surrounding their daughter’s death.
“This investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further until we have completed this thorough investigation and shared the findings with Violet’s parents.”