The mysterious death of Cassidy Oakley: 6-week-old baby found dead ‘wedged’ between sofa and wall by heartbroken father
RUNCORN, ENGLAND: Mystery still surrounds the death of a six-week infant who died after being found trapped between a sofa and a wall at her home, an inquest heard on September 16, 2022, according to the Daily Mail. It is still unknown how the accident occurred. Cassidy Blossom Oakley was found in an unresponsive state around 11 pm on September 5, 2021. It appeared she had fallen off a footstool.
Cassidy's father Jacob Oakley described being woken up by a "higher force" after dozing off before seeing his little daughter on the floor at the family home in Runcorn, Cheshire. Jacob and his partner Megan had been taking turns watching their baby daughter throughout the night. As per a report by Liverpool Echo, Cassidy's inquest was held in Warrington on Wednesday, September 14, 2021, but failed to give proper answers as to how she died.
Jacob and Megan paid tribute to their late child in a statement read out in court which described Cassidy as their 'bright, blue-eyed baby girl'. Jacob reportedly had surgery during the time of the incident and accidentally fell asleep according to the outlet. Cassidy was a twin but her sibling died during pregnancy. The court heard Cassidy fell asleep at around 9.30 pm while being watched by her father, with Megan having gone to bed. But at 11 pm, the mother was woken by Jacob shouting her name and "begging me to help," she said. She raced out of bed and saw Cassidy limp and not breathing in her father's arms.
Cassidy was rushed to Warrington Hospital after her parents performed CPR on her but was declared 'brain-dead' by doctors the following day. Megan explained that Cassidy could not have turned by herself and that the footstool she was sleeping on was part of the couch in the corner of the room. "There was no way she could’ve rolled off. She was lay on a baby pillow, the intention was not to keep her on there" she added. "Sadly my partner shut his eyes and unintentionally fell asleep. If you all have children you know how exhausting it is."
Cassidy regained a heartbeat but sadly was not "breathing responsively". The baby's life support was later removed, leading to Cassidy's death on September 9. The hospital was also blamed as there was a failure in communication, with the emergency call operator talking to Megan and Jacob about CPR for an older child, not a baby. Oakley said "It's awful that it's been (seen as) a learning opportunity when my child had to die."
However, Dr James Wallace of Warrington hospital told the inquest the CPR technique would likely have made no difference as the main thing was that it was "being done." The hearing was told Cassidy had suffered a second cardiac arrest which was likely due to low oxygen levels.
Pathologist Dr George Kokai, who was also present at the hearing and performed the post-mortem on the child, claimed Cassidy was found combined with evidence of bleeding behind her eyes suggesting a lack of oxygen. Although the family members professed that a potential missed hereditary heart condition may have contributed to Cassie's death in some way, Dr Kokai said this was the first he had heard of a heart condition and his job was not to "check validity of data", rather carry out a post-mortem. He added there was evidence, however, of "prolonged hypoxia", which means lack of oxygen.
Assistant coroner Heath Westerman concluded that the CPR techniques "made no difference" to the eventual outcome. He went on to say there were "no pathological findings to explain Cassidy's passing" and there was no evidence of heart defects or seizures causing her to die. On Cassidy's positioning, he added, "I can't speculate as to whether she ended up there by her own movements or those by her father who was asleep next to her." He gave the cause of death as asphyxia and recorded it as an accident. "I'm so deeply sorry for your loss as a family," he added.