Rockingham mother’s fight for justice after the stillbirth of her daughter

Mickalia and her daughter Hailee
Mickalia and her daughter Hailee

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THIS is the first time Mickalia Joy Young (25) has spoken about the inadequate medical care that failed to prevent the stillbirth of her unborn daughter.

Since Chloe was stillborn in November 2014, the Safety Bay mother has fought against the medical system, doctors, online trolls who attacked her and her own struggle with depression and anxiety.

Against all of these adversities Mickalia is determined to “be a good mum” to her second daughter.

Ross Douglas Jose faced the State Administrative Tribunal in 2015 and was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional performance and fined.

A second obstetrician, Andre Hugo, was found guilty of professional misconduct and surrendered his registration before leaving for South Africa last year.

In 2015, after Dr Jose faced the tribunal, a group of Rockingham locals started the We Support Dr Jose Facebook page.

“They called me a junkie; they said I was on drugs and that my partner caused Chloe’s death,” Mickalia said.

“They didn’t even know me. I didn’t understand how people could treat me like that. They said things like ‘it’s a good thing Chloe’s gone because she didn’t deserve a mother like you’. These women were mothers themselves.”

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Mickalia had Chloe with her for two days after the birth at Rockingham General Hospital.

“She was with me in the room. I hadn’t even experienced death until this happened,” she said.

“In the maternity ward, I kept waking to babies crying and I’d wake up and think it was Chloe.”

The tribunal found that Dr Jose failed to identify that one of the cardiotocographies (which records the foetal heartbeat and uterine contractions) conducted on October 30 was abnormal or showed that Chloe was compromised.

It was an hour before Dr Hugo, who was on call on the day, was called in to perform an emergency caesarean.

The tribunal found that instead of operating immediately, Dr Hugo performed an unnecessary ultrasound that delayed the caesarean and failed to keep notes.

“I’m deeply concerned Dr Hugo is still practising,” Mickalia said.

“When I went into theatre I was trying not to think too much. They pulled her out of me and I remember the room being really quiet; all I could hear was the machine and my partner came over and told me we lost our daughter.

“I remember after that a nurse asked me if I wanted to hold Chloe and shock set in. I held her but I did not know what to do. I kept bleeding and Dr Hugo was there. The nurse called him back and said she’s still bleeding and he would not even look at me.”

 

Mickalia didn’t know there was blood in her urine until she accessed her medical records through Freedom of Information. Chloe’s tiny body was sent for an autopsy.

It was during this period that Mickalia didn’t know where her daughter was.

She had to sit and wait before they could have a funeral for Chloe.

“The only thing that came back from the coroner was that Chloe had low haemoglobin. There was no answer to why she died or how she died,” she said.

“It wasn’t until after that, I realised the doctors had done something wrong.”

Mickalia has since had a second daughter, Hailee.

“There’s times where I look at Hailee while she’s sleeping and think she looks like Chloe,” she said.

“At Christmas, I was imagining two-year-old Chloe opening her presents.”

Mickalia hopes her story will make women aware of what can happen and what their rights are.

However, she feels that at times people haven’t wanted to hear what she has to say.

“I see it all the time with grieving parents. It feels like we can’t talk about what’s happening,” she said.