Award for midwife who helped Hebburn mum through traumatic pregnancy

A mum-of-two from South Tyneside who nominated her midwife for a regional award says she could not have got through her traumatic pregnancy without her.

Midwife Gillian Coulthard with mum Samantha Murdoch and her daughter Emily Hope.
Midwife Gillian Coulthard with mum Samantha Murdoch and her daughter Emily Hope.

Samantha Murdoch and her husband Tony were looking forward to the birth of their second child, last year.

But at 18 weeks, the 26-year-old from Hebburn was rushed to hospital suffering with an antepartum haemorrhage – a condition where the placenta comes away.

Medics prepared her for the worst, but midwife Gillian Coulthard, from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, never allowed her to give up hope and stayed with her during the critical 48 hours.

The time elapsed and Samantha went on to give birth at 37 weeks to daughter Emily Hope – now eight months old.

Gillian was put forward and won Emma’s Diary Mum’s Midwife of the Year award for the North of England region after being nominated by the couple.

The accolade is one of the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards, recognising the work done by exceptional midwives across the country.

Samantha said: “When I was rushed to hospital, Gillian was the midwife who came to see me. Because of the haemorrhaging, the doctors began to prepare me for the worst and told me that I would be delivering my baby.

“Gillian came and sat with me in the room and she was so reassuring and caring.

“I was at my lowest and as the minutes and hours went by, she kept saying where there is life, there is hope.

“And it is those words along with her continued close care that helped me to get through one of the toughest times of my life.

“When I went into labour she stayed with me and even gave up her breaks to comfort and be there for me, as we didn’t know Emily Hope’s heart kept disappearing from the monitor – Gillian knew.

“I know people say it’s her job to care, but Gillian really did go above and beyond for me. She helped save Emily Hope’s life and made a lasting impression on mine.”

Gillian will join other regional winners in London, where an overall winner will be announced.