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Hanna and Jay Burlace praise medical staff after tragic death of their son Samuel

The parents of a baby who died suddenly have praised medical staff who battled to save his life, despite a doctors’ strike taking place.

Samuel Burlace was born at 37 weeks at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in November, but tragically died in January. 

The court heard Hanna Burlace drove her eldest son to a child-minder in Borough Green on the morning of January 12, with Samuel in a car seat in the back.

Gravesend Old Town Hall in High Street
Gravesend Old Town Hall in High Street

Det Insp Ian Wadey said she described Samuel as “snuffly” and crying en route.

After returning home Mrs Burlace went to pick him up but he was floppy and unresponsive. She began CPR and called for help.

Samuel was taken to Darent Valley Hospital but despite the best efforts of medical staff, could not be resuscitated. 

An inquest into his death was held at Gravesend Old Town Hall.

A post mortem examination could not determine a medical cause of death but noted Samuel was well nourished and showed no signs of neglect or ill treatment.

The court was told he suffered from acid reflux but was a healthy baby. 

“Sam may have only lived with us for nine weeks, but in his short life he has taught us, our friends and family so much" - Jay Burlace

Roger Hatch, senior coroner, recorded an open verdict.

Speaking after the inquest Jay Burlace, Samuel’s father, said: “Sam may have only lived with us for nine weeks, but in his short life he has taught us, our friends and family so much.

“All he knew was love and we will continue to think of him and love him every day for the rest of our lives.

“We are all better people for having knowing Sam and for that we are so proud of him."

“We would like to extend a heartfelt and sincere thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff of Darent Valley Hospital who worked tirelessly to give our son the best possible chance.

“They were all super human and if there was anything else that could have been done for Sam that day it would have been done I truly believe that even with it being a strike day. We got the best care we could have, period.

“Our thanks also extend to the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance who were phenomenal.”

The family has raised more than £2,500 for the air ambulance. To donate visit tinyurl.com/sburlace

They have also been supporting The Lullaby Trust. For more information click here


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