After a long, difficult labour, Claire Keer was exhausted but also full of anticipation, waiting to hear her newborn's cry. But there was only the rhythmic bleep of medical machinery and the rustling of doctors and nurses as they cut the umbilical cord and swaddled Zach. Otherwise, silence.
'I went into an absolute panic, thinking: 'Why can't I hear my baby?' recalls Claire, who is now 41.
'Then, to my horror, when Zach was passed to me I could see immediately that he was blue and floppy. But before I could take it all in, a nurse took him from me.'
Claire started shivering uncontrollably in shock, and amid a flurry of activity and confusion among the medical staff, she became aware of a consultant appearing at her side. 'My memory of some of the details is hazy, but this I remember clearly — they told me: 'You've got a very poorly baby who might die.' I just wanted to scream.'
This was all in stark contrast to the scene some hours earlier, when Claire and Zach's father, Matthew, now 44, had left their home in Liversedge, West Yorkshire, 'in a bubble of excitement' to head to the maternity unit at their local hospital.
'To my horror, when Zach (pictured right age 12) was passed to me I could see immediately that he was blue and floppy,' Claire Keer (pictured left) told Good HealthDuring labour, Zach had become stuck in the birth canal and despite Claire's pleas for a caesarean he was eentually delivered by forcepsAfter a trouble-free pregnancy, they were excited about their future as a family.'We couldn't stop talking about how fabulous it was going to be,' recalls Claire. 'And yet here we were being told that our baby may not make it.'Shattered, and weak from her 13-hour labour, Claire had to be taken by wheelchair to see Zach, who was now in intensive care.