AN IRISH TV actress has told of how she found her newborn baby son dead in her fiancé’s arms at their Manchester home.
Dubliner Leigh Arnold said she misses her two-and-a-half-week-old child “every second of the day” as she spoke about her harrowing discovery this week at the inquest into his death.
The 34-year-old, well-known for her role as Dr Cloadagh Delaney on RTÉ’s The Clinic, became “anxious” about her baby son, Flynn, while out with a friend for dinner in May last year.
She had left him with her partner, Steven Davies, at their house in Ashley, Cheshire, for the first time since his birth.
When she returned home at 1.30am she found Flynn “grey” and unresponsive in his father’s arms.
“I could see his whole body, he wasn’t squashed,” she told the hearing in Macclesfield Town Hall.
“I saw by his face there was definitely something wrong. I just know that I screamed an awful lot and my legs went from under me — I don’t remember an awful lot else.”
She added: “He was a perfect baby. He was healthy and extremely loved and adored and is missed every second of the day. Whether we will ever have an answer to what happened, I don’t know.”
Despite desperate efforts to revive the newborn by his father and paramedics, Flynn was pronounced dead at Wythenshawe Hospital in Greater Manchester an hour later.
He is thought to have died of sudden infant death syndrome, also known as ‘cot death’.
Reliving the painful final moments of her young son’s life, Miss Arnold, who has another son, two-year-old Hunter, recounted a call she made to her fiancé to check up on Flynn.
“I could hear him gurgling —happy gurgling,” she said, fighting back tears. “I knew they were having a lovely time.”
Mr Davies said the last thing he remembered was Flynn lying in the crook of his left arm as he fell asleep on the sofa.
Pathologist Dr Gauri Batra gave a cause of death as “unascertained”, but told the hearing there was nothing to suggest the death was suspicious.
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, coroner Dr Janet Napier told the bereaved couple: “I want to say that I understand how this feels for you but I can’t imagine what it feels like.”
She added: “This was a sudden, tragic switching off in the sleep. I can’t properly say how awful this is. I give you my sincere sympathy.”
Miss Arnold and Mr Davies were due to get married last year, but postponed the ceremony after Flynn’s tragic death.
The couple are now expected to tie the knot in Ibiza next month, with Hunter acting as ring-bearer.