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Stephy Scaria and Naomi James

Three maternal deaths in Ireland in the last week

Families have set up GoFundMe pages to help cover the unexpected cost of these tragic deaths.

THERE HAVE BEEN three maternal deaths in Ireland in the last week.

The women died in University Hospital Kerry, Cork University Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda.

Ireland has a relatively low rate of maternal deaths compared to the European average. Three women losing their lives in the space of seven days is seen as a tragic occurrence.

Stephy Scaria (née Ouseph) died unexpectedly last Friday, 21 June, after a Caesarean section in Cork University Hospital.

The hospital has said that in line with HSE policy an external review will be undertaken.

She lived in Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, with her husband Baiju, who has started a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of her funeral and her repatriation to India, where she is from.

“We are absolutely devastated by Stephy’s passing and are struggling to find the funds to cover the cost of her funeral and the repatriation of her remains to India,” Baiju wrote.

At the time of publishing, the donations had already exceeded €75,000.

On Sunday, Naomi James (née Boyle) died tragically in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. She is survived by her newborn baby Cal, as well as her husband Michael and three other children.

Her family have also set up a GoFundMe to cover the funeral, as well as household bills and counselling for her loved ones.

In condolences, Naomi is described as a lovely person who had a great sense of humour.

“This sudden loss has left the James family devastated, both emotionally and financially,” the fundraiser says.

“Together, we can help them find some peace and stability as they cope with this unimaginable loss.”

Separately, University Hospital Kerry confirmed that a mother in their care had died recently and that the Coroner has been notified.

In line with the HSE policy on all maternal deaths an external review will be undertaken.

“UHK is providing bereavement support to the family at this very sad time.

“Hospital management and staff at UHK wish to express their condolences and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased during this very difficult period.”

The World Health Organisation defines maternal deaths as deaths of women while they are pregnant or within 42 days of the end of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

From 2019 to 2021, a total of 12 women in Ireland died during or not long after pregnancy.

In OECD countries, there was an annual average of 10.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020.

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