New mum’s ‘beautiful lockdown baby’ dies after 11 days due to rare condition

A devasted mum who had a completely normal pregnancy up until her 20-week scan has shared her heartbreak after her baby girl died 11 days after she was born.

Sophie Murfin, 27, told WalesOnline there was "silence" in the room during her 20-week scan after doctors admitted they had spotted something.

The expectant mother from Cwmbran, South Wales, was referred to a specialist in Bristol and little Violet was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome – a condition that meant the left side of her heart hadn’t developed properly.

She then prepared herself for "the worst" after medics said it was only likely she would live for a few hours or weeks.

Sharing her heartbreaking story, which she says she wouldn’t have been able to get through without staff from St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, Sophie said: "I was having the 20-week scan and there was just silence in the room.

"I knew there was something wrong and they admitted that they had spotted something and we were referred to specialists in Bristol.

"When we went there I was taken into a room with a box of tissues but we met some amazing staff at the hospital who were fantastic. I was assured that the condition wouldn’t be painful and she would know nothing different.

"They said she was blissfully unaware and there was a nurse who sat with me for hours explaining everything so clearly and answering all my questions.

"It was still scary and I found that were very few palliative stories shared by parents – but no-one said how truly wonderful the time with her would be."

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Sophie said she was encouraged by doctors to name her baby and write a list of things she wanted to do throughout the pregnancy.

She said: "I didn’t realise the importance or significance of this but by referring to her by name the team showed us that, to them, we mattered.

"I still wanted to enjoy my pregnancy, I was still going to be a mum, and they really encouraged me to make the most of the time.

"But I had to accept that Violet was never going to grow up, never going to play sport, but I needed her to have a purpose."

The family then set about making the most of their time with baby Violet and had her christened with family and friends on Zoom.

Sophie said: "The time at home with Violet was wonderful. The sun shone every day of her life – she never once saw rain. We managed an awful lot in 11 days.

"We were both christened in the garden, with family and friends on Zoom. Neighbours watched from a distance accompanied by a dog, two cats, and a hedgehog – it was like a real-life Disney film."

She went on: "We clapped for carers, went to the park, celebrated Gran’s birthday, and had a photoshoot in the garden. Bucket list complete."

Violet passed away peacefully in Sophie's mother's arms on Wednesday, June 3, and Sophie is sharing Violet's story to give some comfort to other parents in a similar situation.

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