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Father got PTSD after witnessing his daughter’s birth

Posted on 16th June 2021 in Medical Negligence

Posted by

Stuart Bramley

Partner and Solicitor
Father got PTSD after witnessing his daughter’s birth

The birth of Elliott Rae’s daughters was distressing, so much so he that struggled with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but sadly went on without help for over a year.

Having been though this difficult time resulting from the birth of his daughter, Elliott is urging dads to talk to people are their problems in the hope that they avoid what he went through.

The birth of Elliott Rae’s daughters was distressing, so much so he that struggled with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but sadly went on without help for over a year. Having been though this difficult time resulting from the birth of his daughter, Elliott is urging dads to talk to people are their problems in the hope that they avoid what he went through.

On what seemed to be a normal day with a normal routine, while on the London Underground out of nowhere he remembers crying out without knowing why, he said "I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness”. The reality was life was becoming a struggle and the root cause was his daughter's traumatic birth 9 months prior.

As time progressed he was getting flashbacks of her birth, it was frighting, he couldn’t sleep and would even choke when having a conversation with colleagues. He said "I didn't feel like myself at all and I couldn't muster the energy to care about anything,".

Events during the birth, immediately after and beyond, changed Elliott from being in control to feeling out of control. Just one of many concerns for mother and baby which effected him was over mum being given intravenous antibiotics because tests had picked up a Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection and the hope was this would prevent the baby becoming infected during birth.

Therapy wasn’t something he had ever though about, it wasn’t something that was offered to him. Elliott eventually got help and was diagnosed with PTSD, "I thought of PTSD as something only soldiers get after going to war, now I know it can be triggered for anyone who has had a traumatic life-changing or life-threatening event," says Elliott.

In 2016 he set up a lifestyle platform for dads called Music Football Fatherhood, an outlet for father to talk about parenthood. He went onto publish a book, Dad, where he opens up about his experiences of becoming a father, him and 19 other dads.

Co-head of our Medical Negligence team, Stuart Bramley, commented, “Elliott’s story is very affecting to read but it is much more commonplace than might first be thought. In all the legal claims my colleagues and I at Tozers handle, the focus is mainly on the injured baby but we always take time to consider how this has affected one or both of the parents as well.  Some of my clients have suffered in silence for a very long time after witnessing a shocking delivery, often because they do not realise that help can be available for those who develop PTSD. We will always advise on whether they too might be entitled to compensation, if the trauma can be directly linked to witnessing what happened at the birth.

Elliott Rae is to be commended, both for highlighting his own challenge and for setting up an organisation to help others with PTSD. I wish him every success”.

 

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