May 17, 2022, 23:45

    Baby drowned in three inches of bathwater after mum suffers reaction to Covid jab

    Baby drowned in three inches of bathwater after mum suffers reaction to Covid jab

    A baby died after drowning in three inches of bathwater when her mum fainted after having an adverse reaction to the Covid jab, an inquest heard.

    Lawyer Louise Atkinson blacked out as she bathed nine-month-old Eleanor, nicknamed Ellie, the day after receiving her first Astrazeneca jab.

    Her husband James came home from a dentist appointment to find the bathroom door blocked by his unresponsive wife on the floor.

    He saw little Ellie face down in the bath turning blue.

    Mr Atkinson picked her out of the water and woke his wife by grabbing hold of her.

    He then laid Ellie on the bathroom floor where he began CPR while calling 999.

    Mr Atkinson, a business manager, carried on the resuscitation attempts until the emergency services arrived six minutes later at their home in Christchurch, Dorset.

    Ellie was taken to Southampton General Hospital by helicopter but died hours later in March 2021.

    The inquest heard the mum suffered an adverse reaction to the Covid-19 jab

    AFP via Getty Images)

    It is not known for how long Ellie was submerged before she was found, but the inquest heard it could have been as long as 30 minutes.

    A post-mortem examination found that 'on the balance of probabilities' the cause of death was inhalation of water or drowning.

    Police investigated Ellie's death and concluded it was a 'tragic accident'.

    They contacted Public Health England about Mrs Atkinson's adverse reaction to the vaccine and were sent a general report which said 'sleepiness and drowsiness' was an uncommon possible side effect.

    The Bournemouth inquest heard Ellie was born prematurely at 33 weeks and had a heart defect as well as feeding problems which meant she was underweight.

    She was due to have heart surgery on March 25 and Mrs Atkinson said she had struggled to sleep or eat in the days beforehand due to 'anxiety' about it.

    The mum said she began bathing her daughter at 10.30am on March 23 and this would have typically lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

    Ellie sat in a bath seat in three inches of water and Mrs Atkinson told the inquest the last thing she remembers was bending down to lift her out.

    The AstraZeneca vaccine being administered in Brighton

    Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

    An emotional Mrs Atkinson said: "I started to pick her up and that's all I can remember.

    "The next thing I can remember is James shouting and pulling at me."

    Appearing via video link at the inquest Mr Atkinson wept as he described finding his wife and daughter at about 11.15am.

    He said: "I walked upstairs and saw the bathroom door was closed, which was unusual.I started to push the door open but I couldn't open it.

    "I pushed it harder and that's when I saw Louise on the floor and Ellie in the bath. I forced my way in through the door and picked Ellie out of the bath.

    "I laid Ellie on the floor and started CPR and made a call to the emergency services.I was trying to do two things at once with the speakerphone next to me. I did CPR until the paramedics attended and took over."

    Mrs Atkinson said it was unusual for her to faint and it had only happened twice to her before Ellie's death, both times in her late teens.

    She said she experienced another black-out while visiting Ellie's grave the day after receiving her second jab in June 2021.

    A passer-by saw her fall to the ground and came to her aid.

    Mrs Atkinson told the inquest she underwent a seven-day assessment after her second fainting episode and while no definite explanation could be reached by professionals, her reaction to the vaccine was cited as a contributory factor.

    Detective Sergeant Phil Read, of Dorset Police, said: "We concluded it was a tragic accident that Ellie had died of drowning in the bath and potentially there were contributing factors to this.

    "One is the potential adverse effect of the Covid vaccine.

    "Mrs Atkinson had also had a lack of sleep as they were going through a stressful time.

    "She had not eaten and is a slim build. All these factors could have caused her potentially to have stood up to bend down to pick Ellie up and pass out.

    "She had potentially collapsed or fallen unconscious for an extended period of time."

    Dorset assistant coroner Brendan Allen recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: "Ellie was having a bath at home supervised by her mother when her mother collapsed and fell unresponsive.

    "Ellie was found by her father unresponsive in the bath and the paramedics were called.

    "She was transferred to Southampton Hospital where she died.

    "My conclusion is she died as a consequence of an accident."

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