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D'Lissa's Story

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D'lissa Christina Parkes was born in St. Thomas Jamaica on 16th Sept 1989. 


She came to the UK when she was just 5 years old.


She died on the 8th October 2015 during childbirth but, her daughter S'riaah survived. 


When D'lissa left school she studied numerous courses which led her to become a Child Practitioner. It was in this capacity that she gained employment. She loved children.


She was committed to taking care of her nieces and nephews whenever the need arose. She would be would be first to offer her babysitting services.


D'lissa was a very humble, full of drama, hot pink, sparkly and beautiful young woman.


She lived for family get togethers such as birthdays and Christmas time where she always looked forward to cosying down on Christmas night with a nice brand new pair of pjs. She was the life and soul of every family time we enjoyed together.


D'lissa was so happy when she discovered that she was pregnant.


Early in her pregnancy at 7 weeks she did experience bleeding and was given a scan. This showed an abdominal mass. This scan report was not available to the midwives booking or throughout the pregnancy.


Her past medical history included that she had something called a Megarectum with severe Constipation. Her antenatal scans showed a displaced uterus which was caused by a grossly distended rectum. This was shown in subsequent scans during the pregnancy but not acted upon.


Appointments for this issue was not linked with maternity notes. The booking midwife did not know the seriousness of her bowel condition. 


Her HB was low at around 18 weeks gestation. She was given iron tablets.  If the Megarectum was noted and investigated this would have been an opportunity to have a care plan in place.


Several members of maternity staff saw her during her pregnancy, but none of them read her notes or scan reports.

At 37 weeks gestation her baby did not turn...she was breech. On he 29th Sept she attended hospital for a ECV (manual turn to manoeuvre baby head down). This was successful but, D'lissa became unwell and very uncomfortable because of it. This continued for the rest of her pregnancy.


She went back to the clinic a week later and was seen by the doctor who performed the ECV. The baby's head was high, free and oblique. The doctor informed that it was normal for baby's head to be high and free due to the fact that black women's pelvis were shaped differently. He held on to his truth even at the inquest into her death but this was addressed by the Coroner who advised that this was unsafe.


First pregnancy baby should engage into the pelvis at 37 weeks and most certainly at the onset of early labour.


Her baby's head was high and free when she presented at the hospital on 7th October in the early stages of labour. This should have alerted the maternity staff to consider what was causing this. An appropriate plan for delivery should have been made. She should have been admitted to hospital until this had been investigated. She was sent home with suppositories that were not even documented in her notes.


It was admitted that aspects of her care should have been at a higher standard.


The presence of any mass blocking the pelvic inlet should have prompted an appointment with a consultant obstetrician so that a plan could have been made for managing her pregnancy.


Had the diagnosis been made during the pregnancy it is possible that the faecal mass could have been treated with the appropriate laxatives and suppositories and that she may have gone on to having a normal delivery or that if they had not treated the mass by 37 weeks and they had not turned the baby but instead given a planned Caesarean section at 39 weeks her daughter would certainly not have sustained brain injury.


There has been only 2 cases recorded of women with the same issue that D'lissa had. One case describes a woman with a faecal mass which was discovered at the onset of labour. The staff tried to disimpact the patient's rectum but this caused distress to the baby and an emergency Caesarean was performed. The baby suffered brain damage.

The other case showed that the faecal mass was diagnosed early in the pregnancy and managed successfully with the use of medication to empty the bowel so that the patient went onto have a normal delivery.

Dlissa's case has been documented as the 3rd person.


While it was unable to conclude for certain if D'lissa had received either of these treatment options she would have survived, it is likely that a plan for delivery would have been different if they had been aware of the diagnosis before the onset of labour.


Recommendations have been made concerning the Hospital Trust in question.


D'lissa died of a Pulmonary embolism which caused her to have many cardiac arrests. Cause of death was also pregnancy. I will always maintain that her death could have been prevented if she was taken seriously when she attended the hospital on the day before she died and was sent home.

Her greatest achievement was to become a mummy to her beautiful daughter S'riaah. She died without meeting her.


There are no words to describe just how much she is missed. Her soul lives on in her daughter. There are days when we glimpse an expression or a look that is just like her mummy.


Each birthday we celebrate for S'riaah is bitter sweet as it is the same day we mourn how D'lissa left us.


It is said that time heals but it doesn't. The world moves on but we can't. S'riaah is our constant reminder of pain mixed with joy.

'If only' always comes to mind... If only we had just... If only we did...


We mourn two losses. D'lissa and a granddaughter that should be running around with all our other grandbabies and doing all the things that nearly six year olds do.


Still we give God God thanks for everything. We give God thanks for her life and the life of her daughter.


D'lissa has gone and it is so painful. However trials will accomplish purpose.


The D'lissa Christina Princess Foundation was launched on the 1st anniversary of D'lissa's death in her memory and on her daughter's S'riaah's first birthday.

We have been silent for the past few years as life has been extremely challenging. It has been overwhelming as we have been fighting for justice for D'lissa and her daughter along with trying to keep S'riaah well.

I believe nothing is done before the time and the time is now to get going with this.


The purpose of this Foundation is to bring about awareness to the issues of maternal deaths and health issues and to provide a support network for women and men of all ages and backgrounds.

I believe that God is also leading this Foundation to support children with disabilities especially in Jamaica which was where D'lissa was born.

I have had to really think carefully and to seek God on this as D'lissa was a person who did not like the limelight. She was but taking photos and being at the front was not her. I just hope and pray that she will be ok with the fact that what happened to her needs to be out there in order to help somebody somehow. Her death and what happened to S'riaah cannot be in vain.


The 6th anniversary of D'lissa's death and S'riaah's 6th birthday is coming up fast. Imagine S'riaah will be 6 years old!!!! She has now started school! We were told she would not even last 5 seconds when they removed life support at 1 week old. Thanks be to God 


We may not understand why sad things happen in life; but may her story remind you to fully embrace and celebrate family at any opportunity you get.

D'lissa Christina Princess Foundation Team


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