Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Wednesday, 18 January 2006

'It all happened so suddenly'

Caroline Wheeler

Caroline Wheeler lost one of her twins, Thomas, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome five years ago.

"Both my twins were born as the result of IVF.

"Thomas was the bigger, healthier one. He was a very hungry feeder.

"That night I fed them both in bed. Joseph fell asleep quite quickly, and I returned him to his cot at the side of the bed.

"Thomas wanted to continue having a really long feed, and some point he fell asleep during the feed, and so did I.

The day prior to his death he was examined by my local GP, and found to be healthy
Caroline Wheeler

"I woke up a couple of hours later because Joseph had woken.

"I turned on my bedside light to get Joseph up to feed him again, and Thomas felt very, very still next to me.

"When I checked him he didn't look right, and I realised he had died. It was very, very sudden."

Remains a mystery

Caroline said the post-mortem examination and inquest revealed little details of what had happened.

"Nothing was found. There was no evidence of suffocation, no evidence of over-heating.

"They just showed that Thomas had been a normal, healthy baby. In fact the day prior to his death he was examined by my local GP, and found to be healthy."

She said that in some respects she wishes the investigations had uncovered a specific cause of death - even if it had been the result of her falling asleep on top of her child.

Thomas and Joseph
Thomas (L) and his twin brother Joseph

"I almost hoped that something like that had happened, because then I would have known never, ever to take Joseph into bed again."

Joseph is now a healthy five-year-old, and has a new sister, Yasmin.

Caroline said it was important that mothers-to-be took advice from experts about the best way to put their child to bed.

"Certainly after losing Thomas I found the best place for me to feed my children was in the most uncomfortable chair I could find, so I would not fall asleep again."

Q&A: Cot death
17 Jan 06 |  Health

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