Young couple ‘heartbroken’ as baby boy dies one hour after his birth

A young couple have been left ‘completely heartbroken’ after the sudden loss of their newborn son.

Sophy Keeton, 29, and partner Ben Smith, 22, both from Doncaster, Yorkshire, said their life completely changed forever in June when she was told her baby boy Freddie would not be “compatible with life”, reported Yorkshire Live.

She was only 18 weeks pregnant at the time, and faced going into an early labour with Freddie when she was given the shattering news.

It was during a scan where doctors discovered that Freddie’s kidneys were larger than they should have been, and medics asked Sophy to return to the Foetal Medicine Unit a week later.

“We did not know how to feel but we were praying for some good news,” Sophy said upon returning to her visit.

The pair attended the scan together just a week later, and to their worry the appointment itself took just five minutes.

Sophy said: “I knew it was bad news at that point. They explained that Freddie’s kidneys were not functioning and that he had no bladder. We received the diagnosis of bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidneys and absent bladder, along with oligohydramnios, which meant his lungs could never develop properly.

“We were informed that once Freddie was born at full-term, he would live no longer than 24 hours and would be in pain and discomfort.” Sophy said she “completely broke down” after being given the news.

“My partner, Ben, was trying to take in the information but we were both just distraught. I can’t put into words how painful it is to hear that your baby is not going to survive. If the condition only affected one kidney he could have lived a perfectly normal life. But it is extremely rare for it to affect both. He was depending on me for absolutely everything.”

The couple were then told they could continue with the pregnancy – or choose to end it prematurely in order to prevent Freddie suffering.

“There was nothing we could do to save our boy as there is no current treatment and no way he could survive with no working kidneys,” said Sophy.

“We had to make the difficult decision to end the pregnancy as this was the kindest option for both Freddie and myself.”

Freddie was born at 3pm on June 19, just a few days after Sophy’s birthday. “The day he was born is really hard to put into words,” she said.

“You feel so proud of your child — but I was also extremely sad because I knew the outcome. We were told he would be alive for around two minutes, but he lived for an hour, which amazed everyone, and meant that we got to spend that little bit more time with him.

“We tried to enjoy every minute that we had with him. We were cuddling him, giving him kisses and talking to him. The pain is indescribable; knowing there is nothing you can do to save your child. But we know we did the kindest thing for him.”

In the weeks since Freddie’s death, Sophy and Ben, who have a two-year-old daughter, Everleigh-Rose, launched a Go Fund Me page for the Bassetlaw Maternity Ward.

The couple have so far raised £1,160 in Freddie’s memory.

Writing on the page, Sophy said: “We are completely heartbroken from losing our boy so suddenly. Everything always looked perfect at every scan until one day we had a random scan which showed his kidneys were larger than they should be. MCDK is a very rare disease and there is no known cause. Sometimes it can be generic, however most of the time it is completely random and babies born with this condition do not survive if both kidneys are affected.

“The care we received at Bassetlaw Hospital was phenomenal. They made an extremely difficult time that little bit easier and we can’t thank them enough for everything they did for me, Ben and our boy. They treated us and Freddie with the utmost respect and dignity. Because of this, I started this fundraiser in Freddie’s honour to raise funds for the Bassetlaw Maternity ward.”

Sophy added that “nothing was too much” for the staff at Bassetlaw Hospital, saying: “They gave us a pram so that we could take Freddie outside and walk him around the rainbow garden.”