A TERRIBLE accident is how the death of a County Limerick mother and her infant baby was described this week as family and friends struggled to terms with the double tragedy.
Ms Downey, (36) a patient at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), was found lying unresponsive on the floor with her infant baby trapped underneath on Monday morning.
It is understood that Ms Downey, who is from Castletown near O’Rourke’s Cross, had been breastfeeding her newborn baby boy when she fell from the bed after taking ill.
The mother-of-three was in a single room at CUMH after giving birth last weekend. It is understood that she had been checked by staff earlier that morning.
She was found on the floor with her baby seriously injured and partially trapped underneath at around 7am on Monday morning.
Ms Downey died despite efforts to resuscitate her at the scene.
Over the following two days, staff at the CUMH worked to save the life of the newborn baby but he died shortly after 7pm on Tuesday.
As senior medical personnel at the hospital look to determine the causes of deaths following post mortem examinations, a file will be prepared for the Cork Coroner and inquests will be held into the double tragedy.
A HSE statement said: “As with all unexplained deaths, a full medical investigation was immediately initiated. This investigation is currently underway at CUMH.
“CUMH wishes to express its deepest sympathy with the family of the mother and her baby.
Ms Downey, an only child who worked at the Novartis bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing and development facility at Ringaskiddy in Cork, is survived by her husband Kevin and two young children.
Her parents are widely known, particularly in GAA circles, in the Castletown-Ballyagran area.