A three-day-old baby died just hours after she was taken home from hospital.
Baby Luna Atkins had been born two weeks premature after her mother underwent an emergency Cesarean section. She spent her first two days of life at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
After being discharged at around 5pm after doctors decided she was well enough to go home, Luna was breastfed by her mother in bed at around 9.30pm, then mum Philippa, 34 and dad James, 35 fell asleep beside her.
However Luna was tragically declared dead at around 2.20am at their home in Roath, Cardiff.
Pathologists said her cause of death could not be determined and a coroner said that co-sleeping with her parents was not to blame.
David Regan, South Wales Central Coroner said that police had “no concerns” regarding baby Luna’s death and that her parent’s home was “clean and tidy” with “plenty of fresh food in the fridge”.
He explained: “Her parents made the choice she could co-sleep with them – that is a choice clearly available to parents. It’s a choice they felt was in Luna’s best interests”.
“Luna’s parents did not smoke, and there is no suggestion of any alcohol at all in the blood samples they provided”.
“Luna appeared healthy and bright and was discharged home on 11 May 11 2020. She went to sleep in her parents bedroom, sleeping between them, that night”.
“It seems to me there is absolutely no evidence at all that co-sleeping was contributive of Luna’s death”.
Mr Regan concluded that baby Luna’s death was a result of unascertained natural causes.
Following Luna’s death, mum Philippa is fundraising to help other children and described Luna as “our beautiful baby” and “our perfect little girl”.
She said: “Luna has taught me life is too short and too precious! We owe it to her to fill the world with more music and more joy”.
“So if you ever think you can’t, look up at the moon, and my baby will show you that the world is good and you are loved!”
“I got to carry Luna for 9 months, and hold her for nearly 3 days. I knew my daughter and she was good! She has given me the strength to believe in myself and strive to make the world a better place”.
“Whatever you have been through, I am always here for you as you are there for me. As things start to go back to ‘normal’ let’s strive to make it better”.
“Let’s laugh more and sing more. Let’s never forget the tragedies of the last few months, and let’s remember those we have lost in the best possible way”.
Philippa, a keen runner, is now planning a half marathon in honour of Luna and other children, and will be raising money for the Martha’s Dancing Heart appeal – the proceeds of which will go toward the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust.
A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is heartbreaking that Luna’s life was cut short so soon, but wonderful that her parents were able to share time with her. We wish Philippa and James the best in their lives after such a heartbreaking loss, and wish Philippa well with her half marathon appeal, which will allow the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust to give other parents and families the best possible support”.