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Mother and baby remembered

Thursday, 28th March, 2019 9:09am

Distraught colleagues of Marie Downey, who died in tragic circumstances earlier this week, have said that she will be “fondly remembered”.

Ms Downey was found unresponsive in a private room at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) on Monday morning with her newborn baby boy trapped beneath her.

The mother of three was pronounced dead at the scene and, despite the best efforts of staff at CUMH, her four day old son Darragh passed away on Tuesday evening from severe injuries sustained in the accident.

Ms Downey, who was originally from the village of Ballyagran in Limerick, and was living in Kildorrery with her husband Kieran and their sons James and Sean, was an employee at the Ringaskiddy arm of multinational pharmaceutical company, Novartis.

A statement issued by a spokesperson for the company said: “Marie Downey was a valued member of our team here at Novartis Ringaskiddy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Marie’s family and friends during this very difficult time. Out of respect for the family we have no further comment.”

A post mortem examination was carried out on Ms Downey’s remains at CUH on Tuesday, however the cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

It is believed that the baby’s mother may have suffered a medical episode in early on Monday morning and fell from her bed, trapping the infant beneath her.

Ms Downey had been checked by CUMH staff just a short time before she was found at which time she had shown no indications of illness or feeling unwell.

A spokesperson for the South/South West Hospital Group said: “South/South West Hospital Group wishes to confirm that a baby boy passed away at CUMH last (Tuesday) evening. The mother of the four day old infant died at the hospital on Monday morning.

“CUMH wishes to express its deepest sympathy with the family of the mother and her baby. The priority now for the hospital is the well-being of their family,” the statement concluded.

As is practice with all unexplained deaths, a full medical investigation was immediately initiated at CUMH.

Ms Downey is survived by husband and two sons, her parents Jim and Helen, parents-in-law Tom and Alma, brother-in-law Patrick, sisters-in-law, Una, Fiona, Ellen and Mairéad, aunts, uncles, relatives, neighbours and many friends.

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