December 11, 2018 1.54 pm This story is over 33 months old

Inquest hears how baby tragically drowned in bath with siblings

A “tragic accident”

An inquest has heard about the frantic attempts to save the life of a 13-month-old boy who was found drowning in the bath.

Oliver Rhodes was in the water with his two-year-old twin siblings when the tragic accident happened at the family home in Ash Road, Coningsby, on June 11 this year.

Oliver was pronounced dead two days later in Queens Medical Centre at Nottingham.

The inquest at Boston Coroner’s Court today (Tuesday) heard that the little boy’s heart, kidneys and liver were donated following his death.

Assistant coroner Marianne Johnson said it was a brave thing for the family to have done and hoped that they could draw some comfort from the organs’ use.

She added: “Hopefully that will bring life to some other child.

“To lose a child in such devastating circumstances is awful and they will have to live with that.”

The inquest heard how the tragedy unfolded after an afternoon of play outside for the three children.

Mum Amy Rhodes had put the three children in the bath just before 6pm and popped downstairs to check on some washing. She went back to check on the children and all was well.

She said they were happy and there was singing and laughing.

After Mrs Rhodes left briefly for a second time to sort out some pyjamas in a bedroom she heard one of the elder children scream and rushed back in to find Oliver face down in the water.

She grabbed him and pulled out the plug before taking him downstairs so that she could phone emergency services.

Under the guidance of 999 operators, Mrs Rhodes started CPR on Oliver. LIVES First Responders volunteer Ian Carroll soon arrived and noted the boy to be “lifeless, warm and floppy”.

An ambulance crew arrived on the scene at 6.14pm and, after giving treatment to Oliver in the vehicle, he was transferred to Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital 15 minutes later.

The inquest heard that at one point there was a return of spontaneous circulation but Oliver had gone 57 minutes without a heartbeat.

A brain stem cell test was carried out at QMC and showed no activity. The cause of death was severe hypoxic brain injury and drowning.

Police carried out an investigation and concluded it was a “tragic accident”.

Det Insp David McKean’s report said: “It’s a young age to be left unsupervised in the bath. A young child of Oliver’s age can drown within a matter of seconds and this appears to be the case.

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