Mother suffers life-changing injuries at scandal-hit maternity unit

A mother who suffered life-changing injuries while giving birth in a scandal hit health board has spoken out about her ordeal for the first time.

Jaime Griffiths, from Mountain Ash, has been left unable to go to the toilet normally and now relies on a colostomy after surgery to save her baby's life.

Mrs Griffiths went into labour at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil in 2010. She was looking forward to meeting her first child.

Jaime said: "I was really excited, really looking forward to the arrival, that we knew from five months, was going to be a little girl. We had already named her Ava so we were really really excited."

But after hours of labour and with Ava yet to be delivered, Jaime was exhausted. She says she requested a cesarean section, but that her request was refused.

Jaime said: "We kept going to the point at about half past eight, I started vomiting, I was crying. I said I just couldn't do no more."

Jaime Griffiths now has a colostomy Credit: Jaime Griffiths

It was only later, when Jaime's baby was too low, that the decision to operate was taken, however a c-section was not possible.

Instead, surgeons had to operate on Jaime underneath in order to free Ava.

By doing so, this severed the nerves that allowed her to go to the toilet normally.

Jaime Griffiths was a keen runner before she fell pregnant Credit: Jaime Griffiths

Before she fell pregnant, Jaime was a keen runner who competed in marathons. Now she has a colostomy, where a bag is fitted to the outside of the body.

Jaime says that because she wasn't listened to and a c-section was not carried out when it could have been, she has been robbed of the motherhood she should have had with her daughter.

Instead, Jaime said: "I've been basically a burden to [my family] basically for the last nine years."

Jaime has undergone various surgeries, and continues to, following her experience Credit: Jaime Griffiths

She added: "In my head I try and motivate myself to keep going but obviously when I talk about it, to think that I've been through it and am still going through it, it kills me. It really hurts.

"I wear maternity trousers, I take bags with me every day in case I have an accident. I feel worthless now and all thanks to some consultant.

"If she'd sent me for cesarean I'd be fine, so it's not fair."

Maternity services at Cwm Taf Morganwwg remain in special measures after systemic failures in the service were revealed in 2018.

Greg Dix, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Care, said: “While we can’t comment on individual cases we would like to deeply apologise to any women and families who have had distressing or poor experiences of our maternity services.

“We are committed to doing all we can to provide the highest quality care and experience and have been working really hard to make changes to the way we design and deliver services to meet the needs of those in our care.

"This work includes building our engagement with women and families to listen to and learn from their experiences, strengthening our governance systems and improving staff training and engagement.

“We welcomed the most recent report from the Independent Maternity Services Oversight Panel, which recognised progress has been made in a number of key areas, including working with families.

"We also know there is still much to do and we will continue to work with our staff, our communities and the Panel to continue to improve.

“It is absolutely vital that we learn from the past and experiences of women who have used our services. Our continued engagement with families, the clinical reviews and ongoing advice of the Panel will support us to fully implement the recommendations of the Royal Colleges’ report and ensure that continual improvements are in place for the future.”