'˜Everything seemed normal' ... tragedy of little Georgina

A mum whose baby daughter died just two days after being diagnosed with a rare condition is now hoping some good will come from the tragedy.

Tuesday, 19th April 2016, 10:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2016, 11:50 am
Catherine, Karl and baby Georgina SUS-160419-100402001

Catherine Gregory spoke of her loss this week in a bid to help others.

Her little daughter Georgina was just eight months old when she died.

“Everything had seemed normal,” said Catherine, 36. “The only problem was she was not willing to eat a lot.”

Baby Georgina SUS-160419-100417001

Catherine and Georgina’s dad, Karl Craddock, took Georgina to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Brighton from their home in Tilgate, Crawley.

Tests there revealed Georgina had low oxygen levels and was suffering from pulmonary vein stenosis - a rare heart condition.

“They were just doing the normal tests when she arrived and noticed her oxygen levels were low,” said Catherine.

Georgina was incubated and transferred to the Evelina Children’s Hospital, part of St Thomas’s Hospital in London, where she died just two days later last December.

Baby Georgina SUS-160419-100417001

“It was a shock,” said Catherine. “The only problem she had was that she wasn’t feeding properly.

“Then she was diagnosed and we were told there was nothing they could do.

“We weren’t expecting that at all. We were expecting her to come home.”

Georgina had been born ten weeks early and Catherine thinks that her premature birth may have had something to do with her illness.

“I don’t know if it is more common in premature babies,” she said.

Pulmonary vein stenosis is a rare condition in which there is a blockage in the blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood from the lungs back to the heart.

“When Georgina died it all happened so quickly,” said Catherine. “But everyone at the Evelina Hospital was fantastic, they were really great.

“The staff kept us informed of what was happening and were very good.”

Now Catherine, a business development advisor at Central Sussex College, and Karl, 36, an aircraft parts inspector, want to help other parents and children.

Catherine’s brother James is organising a football match at Roffey Football Club on June 4 to raise money for the Evelina.

“I’ve been back there a couple of times since Georgina died,” said Catherine. “I just wanted to find out a bit more information as it all happened so quickly.

“I just wanted clarification and everyone there was so good to me.”

The tragedy is the second to hit Catherine and Karl. They lost their first baby at 26 weeks.

The couple have not set a target on the amount they want to raise for the Evelina Hospital from the charity football match.

“We just want to raise as much as we can,” said Catherine.