A Birmingham couple whose nine-month-old son died days after a tragic choking accident has revealed why they allowed a television crew to film him during the last days of his life.
Adam and Serena talked to Birmingham Mail to explain why they let the Channel 4 crew film their son in his hospital bed days leading up to his death.
Their nine-month-old son, Leyton, was taken by his parents to the hospital after he choked on a piece of plastic, which caused his heart to stop beating.
Adam, who completed a first aid course, tried reviving little Leyton by performing CPR on him. He then rang 999 for help. During the conversation, he was instructed to perform chest compressions on his son while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
After arriving at the hospital, the doctors managed to revive Leyton’s heart and put him in an induced coma.
Doctors performed a variety of tests on the boy. After two days, they tried waking him up but were unsuccessful. After doing an MRI scan, the doctors found abnormalities. The boy died three days later.
Leyton’s struggle, as well as those of his parents, has been captured on film by the television crew from Channel 4.
Viewers who watched the tragedy unfold on their televisions took to Twitter to say how much they were moved watching the family go through their struggles.
Heartbreaking Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital tonight! Pick up your kids and hold them tight! #Leyton— Andrew Rayner (@runnerandy) September 6, 2016
@Bham_Childrens Today's episode so emotional & sad. This is hardest part of working in paediatric hospital...I'm sure Leyton is with stars— Larissa Kerecuk (@BCH_Rare) September 6, 2016
Inside Birmingham children's hospital has just killed me. I am actually distressed at this programme. RIP little Leyton.— Ciára-Louise (@QueenC_1987) September 6, 2016
Considering how difficult it was for viewers to see Leyton die, one can only imagine the amount of emotional turmoil his parents had gone through. But why did they allow the television crew to film the whole thing considering the circumstances?
As Serena explained to Birmingham Mail, she and Adam agreed to the filming so they could pay tribute to their son and to the hospital staff who did all they could to save his life. More importantly, they agreed to it so that no family would have to go through what they went through.
“All parents know the dangers of choking, but even when you think you’ve done all you can to protect your baby, accidents can always happen. We both decided to share our story for a few different reasons. In memory of our son who put up such a brave battle, to show people just how incredible the staff and facilities are at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and more than anything, if by watching this programme it makes parents even more aware of hazards, and saves just one little life and another family going through what we did and will continue to struggle with for the rest of our lives, then his life wasn’t in vain.”
The episode also showed Leyton’s older brother, Cooper, being attended to by the hospital staff in the play therapy department while parents Adam and Serena waited for updates on the condition of their youngest son.
In one moving moment in the program, Serena described her grief as an “emptiness” that “consumes your whole body.”
“It’s almost like you don’t feel like you. There’s that emptiness. It consumes your whole body. It’s a strange feeling,” she said.
Despite the overwhelming pain that comes with losing a child, she said that her family is stronger than ever and that Cooper has been instrumental in helping them find the strength to rebuild their lives.
“If anybody was put in this situation you would just deal with it, you have to. We’ve got Cooper. He’s a hero, he’s saved us. Adam and I are stronger than ever. If we can survive this, we can survive anything. I’ve lost the most precious thing you could lose but we still have life.”
[Photo by ThinkStock]