‘Don’t worry, it’s just the menopause’: British Mother, 46, says doctor’s blunder nearly left her child dead in the womb
A mother gave birth to a baby boy after doctors repeatedly assured her she was going through the menopause. Anita Arora, 46, said the child almost died in her womb after her suspicions that she was pregnant were ignored.
Her son, Matthew, was delivered in a life-saving operation on Christmas Day – just two days after she found out she was expecting. The infant, who was two months premature, would have died if surgeons had not delivered him immediately because of problems with the placenta.
Now Mrs Arora is considering a negligence action against doctors at her surgery. She said: ‘I told them five months ago I thought I was pregnant. My periods had stopped and I was gaining weight. I asked whether it was possible, but they told me not to worry, it was just my age.’
Mrs Arora, a post office manager, and her driving instructor husband Kanti, 48, already have two children – Neil, 15, and Kamya, 13. The couple, from South London, assumed they were too old to conceive again but when the familiar signs appeared in July, Mrs Arora went to her GP.
On two separate occasions, she reported weight gain, missed periods and stomach pains – but instead of offering to take a pregnancy test, they misdiagnosed her with early menopause. Mrs Arora contemplated buying a test from a chemist, but decided there was no point because she trusted her GP had given her the correct advice.
Doctors missed another opportunity to spot the pregnancy when Mrs Arora sought treatment for gall stones in September. Hospital specialists examined her belly and took an ultrasound scan – but failed to see the baby.
Ironically, one of the specialists at Kingston Hospital referred her to a low-fat diet to treat the weight-gain. They also advised her to take ibuprofen to ease the pain – a drug which should not be taken by mothers-to-be because it can harm an unborn baby’s heart.
It was on December 23 when her mother’s intuition overruled and she decided to visit her GP yet again to insist on a test. ‘I was sitting on the couch when my stomach started moving and that was the final straw,’ she said. ‘The GP was amazed when the test was positive. He sent me straight for an ultrasound. ‘If I had waited one more day, my baby might have been dead. It’s my Christmas miracle.’
Doctors at St George’s Hospital in Tooting delivered Matthew via Caesarean section because restricted bloodflow in the placenta meant he had been starved of nutrients for weeks. The infant, who weighed just over 2lb, is still being cared for in hospital and it is too soon to tell whether the dieting or doses of painkillers harmed him.
Dr Nigel Kennea, neonatal consultant, said: ‘The baby was very small. He clearly needed to be delivered. It’s fortunate that she sought treatment when she did. It saved his life.’
Mrs Arora is filing complaints to her local Primary Care Trust and the General Medical Council about the treatment she received. She said: ‘My GP wasn’t doing his job properly and now he has left me choiceless. There was no time to decide whether or not it was a good idea to keep the baby. ‘I’m older than other mums, so I’m worried who will look after Matthew if something happens to me.’
The average age of the menopause in Britain is 52, when women stop having periods and natural supplies of oestrogen from the ovaries dwindle. But many go through the menopause earlier, so irregular periods can become common in the mid-40s – a time referred to as the peri-menopause.
Most doctors are likely to tell patients they could be going through the menopause if they are suffering symptoms such as mood swings, hot flushes and loss of sex drive. Women can experience some of these ‘symptoms’ when they are expecting a baby.
Many doctors warn women there is still the possibility of becoming pregnant even if periods are less regular than normal, and advise the use of contraception.
“Multicultural” Britain: ‘A pack of [black] animals’ chased lone British white boy of 16, killed him with a single stab
A teenage gang chased down a 16-year-old like a pack of animals and stabbed him to death, a court heard yesterday. The six youths – one aged just 14 and some wearing their school uniforms – screamed ‘I’m gonna cut you in pieces’, it is alleged.
The Old Bailey heard that they chased Nicholas Pearton and plunged a knife five inches through his back and into his heart. As they made off on a bus, the killers were apparently seen bragging and laughing about the attack, with one holding a knife high above his head as he chanted the name of their gang.
In a sickening gesture of congratulations, two of the alleged killers are captured on CCTV shaking hands as they sat on the bus. Others shouted foul-mouthed abuse about their victim, yelling: ‘I wish the ****er would die.’
As the gang fled, Nicholas’s parents rushed from their nearby home to cradle their dying son who lay slumped on the ground.
His death was the result of rivalry between two gangs, the Black Mafia and the Shanks and Guns, prosecutor Edward Brown QC told the court. He said: ‘Some of the defendants were in their school uniform at the time of the attack – in their blazers and ties.’
It is believed one of the alleged killers had a run-in with a friend of Nicholas’s at Sedgehill School a few hours before the attack in Sydenham, South-East London, on May 5 last year. Nicholas went to help his friends in the Black Mafia gang in nearby Home Park after hearing they were embroiled in a fight with the rival gang. But when he arrived his gang ‘evaporated’.
Nicholas, the only white boy involved, was left alone in the park, making him an easy target, Mr Brown said.
Witnesses described seeing Nicholas ‘running for his life’ as he was chased by the group wielding knives and sticks into Sydenham Road. ‘The forerunner, knife in hand, lunged twice at least and then brought the knife round in a slashing motion into the back of Nicholas as he continued to try to get away. ‘It was one stab. Nicholas cried out. The knife had plunged five inches or so into Nicholas’s back, all the way in. ‘One witness described the defendants as a group of young men acting like animals.’
Moments after being knifed, CCTV footage showed Nicholas dragging his body into the MM chicken shop and closing the door, gripping the handle to stay upright. He collapsed seconds later as one of his hooded pursuers took a flying kick at the door.
Mr Brown said one of the teenagers conducted a ‘head count’ of the gang as they made their escape on a bus, shaking hands in a ‘revealing and sickening gesture of approval to what just had taken place’. ‘Once the head count was done, he said “OK we’re all here…I was sure one of us was going to get nicked”.’ The whole group, described as laughing and joking, were shouting chants such as ‘p***y hole’ and ‘SG boys’.
Six youths aged 14, 15, two aged 16 and two now aged 17, deny murder. They are all from the South-east London area but cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Mr Brown said it was alleged that one of the 17-year-olds stabbed Nicholas, but all the boys had been acting together. He added: ‘More than one was armed with a knife. ‘It may be that the defendant who was able to reach Nicholas first, the quickest runner, was the one who stabbed him.’
Nearly half of British women wouldn’t bother with university if they had the chance again
Young women are losing faith in the university system with nearly half believing it is not worth getting a degree. Tuition fees and little chance of landing a good job make higher education an unattractive prospect for them, a study suggests. It found that nearly half of female graduates would not go to university if they had the chance again.
The research will cause concern because it was carried out before the Government announced that fees will almost treble to £9,000 in 2012.
The findings have prompted warnings that a generation of ambitious young women will miss out on a high-flying career and the opportunity to continue their education. Louise Court, editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, which conducted the survey, said young women seem to think university ‘a waste of time’. ‘It’s never been harder to be a young woman with ambition,’ she said. ‘Understandably, women are angry and frustrated about their future and this is having a damaging affect on their self-esteem. ‘We’re urging women across the country to never give up, recognise that now can be a time for real opportunity and to always follow their dreams.’
The survey of 1,353 women also looked at the career prospects and financial outlook for women in 2011. Two thirds of those questioned said they thought it would be ‘almost impossible’ to get their dream job and a quarter were unable to follow their preferred career. Only 14 per cent said they felt safe from the sack.
And the financial situation for graduates was especially bad, with half saying they had so much student debt they could not save. The same proportion believed they faced worse financial hardship than their parents. One in seven women said they had been forced to postpone getting married because a wedding would be too expensive. And more than one in six admitted that financial constraints had made them postpone trying to start a family.
Vicky Tuck, a campaigner for women’s education and former head of Cheltenham Ladies College, said: ‘The rise in fees is going to make a lot of people reflect on why they are going to university. ‘Before the introduction of fees it was not an automatic assumption that a degree would lead to a good job. It is only recently that we have seen that relationship. ‘It is a very difficult time in terms of the job market and it will continue to be so for some time. ‘I believe that women should only go to university if they have a genuine interest in learning, a precious opportunity. If they go purely to get a job, many will be disappointed.’
British military school becomes academy (Charter) to take civilians
Standing proud and correct in his spotless ceremonial blues, this is the first civilian pupil admitted to a military school. The Duke of York Royal Military School was allowed to relax its strict admission rules after it was granted academy status by the Government.
Yesterday 13-year-old David Free became the first pupil from a non-military family to attend the £9,750-a-year school in its 200-year history.
But while the mixed boarding school has relaxed its admissions policy its tradition of strict discipline remains. Teaching is punctuated by military drills, a Regimental Sergeant Major leads marches on the parade ground and all students are in the cadet force.
Pupils stand up when teachers enter a classroom and attend chapel daily. Table manners are enforced in the Harry Potter-style dining hall. The results speak for themselves – 100 per cent of pupils got five A*-C GCSEs last year.
Graham and Jaki Free, David’s parents from North Wales, chose the school, in Dover, Kent, because they believed their son would ‘thrive in a disciplined environment’.
The teenager had to smarten up in readiness for the school. His long, floppy fringe was shorn into a short-back-and-sides and his low slung baggy jeans had to be left at home.
His parents both run their own IT businesses. Mother-of-three Mrs Free, said: ‘David’s academic performance has been tailing off so we’ve been searching for the perfect mix for a teenage lad. ‘He’s an energetic teen who needs lots of sports, structure and academic challenges.’
The Duke of York Royal Military School, for pupils aged 11-18, was founded for children orphaned during the Napoleonic Wars. It previously received all of its funding from the Ministry of Defence and was run like an Army base.
As an academy it will receive the same per pupil funding as a state school from the Department for Education plus an annual £1.5million from the MoD for ceremonial events. However, the new status gives the school management more freedom to run the school as it sees fit and open up admissions.
While the state pays for the teaching element, parents pay the boarding fees. Military families receive a Continuity of Education Allowance from the MoD which covers 90 per cent of the fee.
Headmaster Charles Johnson, said: ‘Considering that at any one time the fathers of around 50 of our pupils are fighting in a war, the behaviour of our youngsters is outstanding. ‘Discipline is strong but structured and given in caring environment. ‘Students leave with high academic achievements but also with a strong sense of self-reliance, confidence, leadership skills and a sense of responsibility.
‘Now that we’ve freedom to run the school as we like we’re hoping to get more youngsters from non-military backgrounds but we will not relax our standards. ‘Welcoming David our first civvie is a proud moment.’
The school is one of 407 to be granted academy status. This week the Department for Education said the number of academies had reached a ‘tipping point’ which would provide the momentum for all state schools to be granted academy status.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: ‘The academies programme gives parents real choice over the kind of education they want for their children. ‘Given that choice, many parents are drawn towards schools with more traditional values, like good discipline, a strong ethos, school uniforms, and a house system.’
British Food shoppers face five-a-day nagging at tills as government aims to get the nation in shape
The fact that “5 a day” has no basis in science seems not to worry them
Shoppers will be bombarded with messages at supermarket check-outs about eating fruit and vegetables, under plans being considered by Ministers. Trolleys could even come with a painted line marking where customers should put their healthy produce as part of the proposals which critics will see as an expansion of the nanny state.
Unhealthy options – such as crisps and pies – may be placed on higher shelves than low-calorie and high-fibre foods to dissuade shoppers from buying them. The proposals are part of the Coalition’s attempt to ‘nudge’ Britons towards healthy choices and are the brainchild of the Behavioural Insight Team, which is promoting similar persuasion tactics across government.
A team led by Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin is working with supermarkets to persuade them to support the plans to promote ‘five-a-day’ diets, which have already been tested at Asda.
Other ‘nudge’ ideas include giving children Topshop vouchers and cinema tickets if they walk to school – an idea condemned by opponents as a bribe. And, in an effort to tackle teenage pregnancy, girls could be given toddlers to look after for short periods to persuade them to have safe sex.
A document from the Behavioural Insight Team, released last week, revealed the plan for supermarkets. It said: ‘Visual prompts are already widely used by supermarkets and food manufacturers. ‘But there is potential for visual prompts to be introduced in more ways that help people make healthier food choices. ‘Examples include experimenting with the design of trolleys and considering the order or height of healthier options on supermarket shelves.’
It said action needs to be taken because the country’s weight problem, with six out of ten adults overweight, costs the economy £7billion a year.
Historic British charity drops the word “Christian” from its name
And is the new name dumb!
“One of the country’s best-known charities has changed its name, losing the clearest link to its Christian roots. The Young Women’s Christian Association has dropped its historic title after 156 years because ‘it no longer stands for who we are’.
Instead the organisation – which is mainly funded by legacies left by Christian supporters over 15 decades – will be known as ‘Platform 51’.
Bosses say the name was chosen to reflect the fact that 51 per cent of people are female and that they can use the charity as a platform ‘to have their say’ and ‘to move to the next stage of their lives’.
The decision to drop all mention of Christianity from the charity’s name and purposes drew criticism from religious groups yesterday. It also appeared to open a rift between the renamed grouping in England and Wales and the worldwide YWCA that grew after the charity was founded by two Englishwomen in 1855.
Officials at the World YWCA headquarters in Geneva said none of the 124 branches in other countries are changing their names. Spokesman Sylvie Jacquat said: ‘The name has been there for more than 150 years and we are not even discussing a change. ‘We see our name as an opportunity for promoting Christian values and principles.’
Although it remains listed in the Church of England’s year book as an organisation ‘of importance for the Church of England’, none of its trustees or senior managers are church representatives. Its chairman is gay rights activist and former equality quango manager Helen Wollaston.
Another Leftist takeover