Thomas Gibson died on the day his daughter was born as a result of medical negligence

The inquest into Thomas Gibson’s death, following negligent medical care at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, will take place at South Manchester Coroner’s Court on 4 & 5 June.

Tom and his partner, Rebecca Moss, were expecting their first child. On 7 June 2023, when Rebecca was scheduled to give birth later that day, Tom died from a sudden, but preventable, cardiac death.

Harper, Tom’s daughter, arrived safely on the same day that her father passed away. Harper will never get to meet her dad.

Our team of expert medical negligence lawyers, lead by Partner, Charlotte Moore, have supported Tom’s family and are representing them throughout the inquest.

Negligently missed complete heart block

Three weeks before Tom died, he contracted a stomach bug, something he was struggling to recover from.

Tom called NHS 111 after failing to get a face-to-face GP appointment; he was told to visit Wythenshawe A&E due to the symptoms of the stomach bug.

While in A&E, Tom had an ECG (electrocardiogram) which displayed abnormal results; it identified a complete heart block. A complete heart block, also known as a third-degree heart block – the most serious type – can lead to sudden cardiac death, which is sadly what happened in Tom’s case.

The abnormality on the ECG was missed by the A&E doctors and Tom was discharged for follow-up care by his GP relating to his stomach bug.

Tom and Rebecca proudly holding her bump

Preventable cardiac death

Rebecca was scheduled to have a caesarean section on 7 June 2023 when, tragically, she found Tom unresponsive at their home. Rebecca called 999 and performed CPR, but Tom had already died.

Thankfully – and in spite of the horrific events that morning – Harper arrived safely later that day. Tom would never get to meet his first and only child.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust have admitted that Tom should have remained in hospital as an inpatient to cardiology and fitted with a pacemaker. This is likely to have prevented his death.

Rebecca Moss and Thomas Gibson in a town square in front of a church
Rebecca and Thomas wearing sunglasses in front of water

Sudden cardiac death in the young

According to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, every week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young aged 35 and under die from undiagnosed cardiac conditions.

Despite this shocking statistic, following a government review by the National Screening Committee in 2019, it was concluded that there should be no systemic population screening of people under the age of 39 for cardiac conditions associated with sudden cardiac death.

The next review is due to be completed this year.

Charlotte Moore

“Tom’s tragic death is a result of a misinterpretation of a basic cardiac function test, for which we have received a full admission of liability from the Trust for Tom’s partner, Rebecca. If the ECG had been properly interpreted as showing a complete heart block, Tom would have received a pacemaker and his untimely death would have been avoided.

For this to happen on the day that Harper was born adds to the pain and anger that Rebecca now endures after losing Tom, unnecessarily.

Harper’s birthday, which should be a joyous occasion, will forever be tinged with sadness for Rebecca and Harper, due to the loss of their loving partner and father.”

Charlotte Moore, solicitor for the family

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