The inquest into the death of a mother who contracted herpes shortly after the birth of her son is set to go ahead nearly five years later.
Kim Sampson was 29 when she died in May 2018, shortly after the birth of her baby son at the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) in Margate, Kent.
Miss Sampson, from Whitstable, also had a daughter and her family are desperate for answers after initially being told there would not be an inquest at all.
Six weeks after Miss Sampson’s death, 32-year-old nursery nurse Samantha Mulcahy also died by an infection caused by the same virus at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford – run by the same trust, East Kent Hospitals, as QEQM.
Both women had undergone a Caesarean and at the end of 2021 it was decided that a full inquest into their deaths would be held.
A pre-inquest review hearing was told the same surgeon and midwife were involved in both Miss Sampson and Mrs Mulcahy’s care.
Anna Vroobel, the medical negligence lawyer from Irwin Mitchell representing the Sampson family, said: "Approaching five years on, Yvette and the rest of the family remain devastated by Kim’s death.
"Understandably, they have a number of concerns about the events that unfolded not only during Kim’s labour and her son’s delivery, but also in the lead-up to Kim’s death and whether more could have been done to save her.
"Not knowing all of the facts about what happened to Kim has made trying to grieve for her all the harder.
"While nothing can make up for the hurt and pain the family are going through, the inquest is a major milestone in being able to provide Kim’s loved ones with the vital answers they deserve."
Miss Sampson’s mother, Yvette Sampson, said: "It’s difficult to put into words the devastation and impact the loss of Kim has had on our family. It has left us absolutely heartbroken.
"I look at her children every day and although they bring so much joy, there is also great sadness that Kim is not around to watch her children grow and see their daily achievements.
"It gives me such a heavy heart that Kim’s children will never get to grow up with their truly amazing mummy.
"While time has moved on since Kim’s death, it’s stood still for our family. Kim had her life ahead of her and not knowing why she died is the hardest thing to try and come to terms with.
"I’ve fought to have this inquest because of the many questions around how Kim contracted the herpes virus and the conflicting information I feel I’ve received from the trust.
"I know the inquest and listening to the evidence surrounding Kim’s death is going to be incredibly upsetting but it’s something we need to do to honour her memory and so that we can explain to her children when they’re older."
The inquest will be held at the Shepway Centre in Maidstone from February 27 to March 3.