‘There are no winners here’ – family’s heartache as three year old awarded damages after mum’s tragic death

Ava Wearn
Ava Wearn

The daughter of a dance teacher who lost her life after being failed by a hospital in South Tyneside has been awarded damages.

Ava Wearn was only 13 weeks old when her mother, Nadia, suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in Coleridge Avenue, South Shields.

Mrs Wearn died just hours after going to South Tyneside District Hospital with pains in her chest, back and left arm.

The 31-year-old was told the pain was being caused by the way she was holding her baby and she was sent home and advised to rest.

Despite desperate attempts by her mother Pauline Elleithy – a trained nurse with 40 years’ experience – to revive her daughter, Mrs Wearn died on June 1, 2011.

She was survived by Ava and her husband Jason.

Nadia Wearn

Nadia Wearn

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An inquest into her death, in May 2012, heard that during her first visit to the hospital no electrocardiography (ECG) or blood tests had been carried out to try to find out the cause of her pain – something Dr Peter Goode, a specialist consultant at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, told the hearing “should have” been done. Yesterday, the High Court approved a settlement for Ava, three, who will now have to grow up without a mother.

Mrs Wearn’s family began legal proceedings in October 2012 against South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust which, subsequently, admitted liability.

Speaking after the hearing, the family’s solicitor Angela Curran, from Burnetts Solicitors, said: “The Trust accepted liability for Nadia’s death in 2013 and agreed that further tests should have been carried out.

“Sadly, the Trust also admitted that, had those tests been undertaken, Nadia would still have been in hospital at the time of her cardiac arrest and in all likelihood would have been successfully resuscitated. It’s an absolutely tragic case. There are no winners here.”

Mrs Wearn’s family wished to make no further comment.

Ava’s award will be paid into the court and administered for her benefit to ensure her care needs can be met until adulthood.

Steve Williamson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s chief operating officer, said: “We are extremely sorry about Nadia Wearn’s tragic death and would like to extend our deepest sympathies to her family on their sad loss.”

Related article:

Show was dedicated to inspirational dance teacher Nadia Wearn

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