Parents pay emotional tribute after tot's death
11 January 2010
By Victoria Raimes
A COUPLE have spoken of their heartbreak after finding their two-year-old girl dead in bed in circumstances chillingly similar to a previous incident which had left her severely disabled.
On both occasions Siobhan Boyle was discovered in a serious condition in her
cot within weeks of a routine vaccination.
On 30 December she was found "blue and not breathing" in her cot by her mother Charmaine Boyle. All efforts to resuscitate her failed and a post-mortem did not reveal the cause of death.
Mrs Boyle and her husband Craig, from Dreghorn, today paid tribute to their "darling angel princess", who was a twin.
The circumstances of Siobhan's death mirrored an incident when she was nine weeks old, which left her paralysed, deaf, blind and epileptic. Mr and Mrs Boyle believe their daughter's disabilities were brought on by a whooping cough jag Siobhan was given two weeks before she nearly died as a baby, though they were told at the time it was not the cause.
Mrs Boyle, 25, said: "We had huge reservations because she had a bad cold but the doctors told us it would be fine. A couple of weeks later we found her cot covered in bile. We rushed her to the hospital but she passed away for five minutes and oxygen couldn't get to her brain. From then on, our once happy and smiley baby wasn't able to move, see or hear."
Mrs Boyle added: "Just two weeks before Siobhan died we took her for a swine flu injection.
"We're not saying that injection had anything to do with what happened but the pattern was the same; I went to check on her in her cot and she was blue and not breathing. To experience this twice was horrific."
Experts say the swine flu vaccine, approved by the World Health Organisation and licensed by European authorities, is safe.
Siobhan, an identical twin to Rhianne and sister to Sinead, 5, died at 1:30am on 30 December.
While a post-mortem did not reveal a cause of death the couple are hopeful that blood test results due in a couple of weeks will shed light on what happened. Siobhan's severe brain damage meant she was paralysed throughout her lifetime and had to be fed through a tube connected to her stomach.
Doctors could not tell whether she was aware of her surroundings but the couple are certain Siobhan knew who they were.
Mr Boyle, 25, said: "She knew her mum and dad. She would almost always settle down when she cried if we were around."
Mrs Boyle added: "We would sit Siobhan next to her sisters and they had a good time playing with her. It wasn't much of a life for her, but we made it the best we could."
Although the toddler's young sisters do not fully grasp the situation, Mrs Boyle said she had explained that Siobhan was "dancing with the angels".
The couple are now putting a memory box together for their daughter, which they will display at her pink-themed funeral at South Queensferry Cemetery on 12 January. They are also set to collect donations for Ward 7 of the Sick Children's Hospital.
Mr Boyle said: "Siobhan's life was difficult but we would not change it. We will always remember our darling princess."