Jocelyn Bennett’s family fear the 27-year-old will never get to meet her baby daughters – whose ventilators are due to be switched off in hours
A mum has been left in a coma and her newborn twin girls on life support machines after ambulance crews spent half an hour trying to get into her locked tower block after she dialled 999.
Jocelyn Bennett’s family fear the 27-year-old will never meet her baby daughters, whose life support machines are due to be switched off tomorrow.
They have had the little girls christened and held a Christmas party for them as they worry Jocelyn will suffer brain damage.
Birmingham City Council said they will investigate why paramedics were unable to gain access to Jocelyn’s home on the third floor flat in Druids Heath as all towers should have emergency access.
Jocelyn, who was 32 weeks pregnant, dialled emergency services at 5.39am on Wednesday after being woken by severe stomach pains.
But when a first response paramedic arrived 12 minutes later she was unable to answer the buzzer.
Jocelyn had suffered a placental abruption which had left her in too much pain to reach the entry button.
It was not until police arrived at 6.10am that paramedics finally reached her – despite crews calling on neighbouring flats to help – and phoning Jocelyn’s partner, Kevin Clarke, and parents, Lorraine and Joe Bennett.
By the time emergency crews reached Jocelyn her heart had stopped and she was lying on the floor.
She gave birth to Melody, weighing 4lbs 1oz and Rose, who was 3lbs, hours later by emergency caesarian section at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
But the baby girls suffered multiple organ failure.
The evening before Kevin and the couple’s three year-old son, Slater, had gone to stay with Kevin’s mum for the night to give Jocelyn a break.
The couple had been so excited about the twins they had named them weeks ago.
Joe, aged 54, from Kings Norton, said his daughter had a trouble-free pregnancy up to Wednesday and had enjoyed a family party just days earlier.
“If Jocelyn doesn’t come out of her coma by tomorrow, then they will switch off the life support machines for the babies and she will never get to meet them,” a heartbroken Joe told the Birmingham Mail.
“It could have all been so different if the ambulance crews could have reached her earlier.”
Joe fears that an out-of-order trades entrance and inefficient entry system at Pleck House prevented paramedics from reaching his daughter in time.
“The fact that paramedics couldn’t get in was down to the terrible entry system at the building,” he said.
“There needs to be a better way for emergency services to access these flats.
“Because of this, I will lose my two precious grandchildren and my daughter is fighting for her life.
“Something needs to be done by the council about this because if there is another emergency, this could happen again.
“I cannot fault the paramedics and the police as they tried their best to get to Jocelyn as quickly as they could.”
Joe does not blame Jocelyn’s neighbours either and said that a police raid at the tower block had left residents reluctant to answer unexpected calls.
“If any residents see flashing blue lights they don’t answer their calls because they fear it’ll be another raid.
“No-one answered their buzzers when the paramedics tried them.
“The trades entrance had been deactivated so they weren’t able to get in that way.
“All the emergency numbers are on the inside of the building which didn’t help the police and the ambulance crew.
“It took the police around 20 minutes to get through the front door when they did arrive.
“There are vulnerable people living in that building and the council has a duty of care for them. A better system needs to be in place.
“Jocelyn had been blooming throughout her pregnancy up until this. She had been to a family party a few days before and had a great time.
“Her and Kevin had named the babies and were so excited about them. Her illness came out of the blue.
“Her placenta had come away and by the time she got to the hospital and underwent surgery she had lost two litres of blood.
“She suffered multi-organ failure.”
As Jocelyn remains in a coma Kevin, Lorraine and Joe have had Melody and Rose christened and held an early Christmas celebration for them.
“We decided to have the girls christened and have a Christmas celebration for them before they are taken away from us,” said Joe.
“We’ve taken lots of pictures for Jocelyn to see when she does wake up. She may not even remember being pregnant as she could have brain damage.
“But we want her to see what her little girls were like. They are beautiful.”
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: “Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.
“We have systems to provide emergency access to our blocks for the emergency services and we are investigating what happened in this instance.”
A spokesman for WMAS said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm it received a call to Pleck House, Winterbourne Croft, Kings Heath, Birmingham at 5.39am on Wednesday 29th October 2014.
“The first resource to arrive outside the building was a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle, at 5.51am.
“Two ambulance crews then arrived outside the premises at 5.58am and 6.01am respectively.
“Crews had difficulty getting into the building.
“They tried to contact other flats within the block; all with no answer.
“The control room contacted the patient’S parents and partner by telephone.
“The ambulance service requested the help of police at 6.03am.
“Police arrived at 6.10am and entry to the building was gained soon after.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed officers arrived at the scene and 6.10am and gained entry shortly afterwards.
“We were called by the ambulance service at 6.03am on 29 October and arrived at Pleck House at 6.10am.”
5.39am: Jocelyn calls 999 emergency services suffering extreme stomach pains.
5.51am: First paramedic arrives at Peck House in a rapide response vehicle.
5.58am: First ambulance crew arrives.
6.01am: Second ambulance crew arrives.
6.03am: Ambulance crews call police.
6.10am Police arrive.