Picking Up the Threads: Women’s Lives Remembered
Remaking the Fabric of Care to Learn from Maternal Deaths
This is a multi-media exhibition which will go on national tour to commemorate the women who have died in our maternity services. It is organised by "The Elephant Collective".
The Elephant Collective, a group of educators, midwives and student midwives and birth activists, formed in 2014 with the aim of raising public awareness of:
•the tragedy of maternal death
•the need for legislation to ensure an automatic inquest following all maternal deaths
•the need for vastly improved disclosure of hospital and HSE reporting on tragic and adverse incidents in our maternity services to make then fully open to public scrutiny
We called ourselves The Elephant Collective because when the elephant is giving birth, the herd surrounds her to keep her and her calf safe.
The exhibition centers on a knitted patchwork quilt which had 150 contributors, it includes portraits of women who have had inquests, a traditional cross stitch piece and an extraordinary documentary on the making and launch of the project.
The exhibition was launched on 25th Nov 2015 in Grangegorman, the next showing in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, March, 2016 launches the documentary about the project.
Speakers at the 25th November launch included
- Dr Sara Burke, journalist, broadcaster, and health policy analyst
- Clare Daly, TD
- Dr Jo Murphy-Lawless, sociologist, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin.
Several of the widowers, family and friends were also present at the Grangegorman launch. Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1645242605727896/
The exhibition commemorates the lives of the women who have died in our maternity services. In recent years, eight women had inquests, all of which ended in verdicts of death by medical misadventure.
Tania McCabe - died 9 March, 2007, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
Evelyn Flanagan – died 19 October 19, 2007, Mayo General Hospital
Jennifer Crean – admitted to National Maternity Hospital, 30 June, 2008, transferred in a coma to Beaumont Hospital, 2 July, 2008, died 10 February, 2009
Bimbo Onanuga – died 4 March, 2010, transferred from Rotunda Hospital to the Mater Hospital
Dhara Kivlehan – transferred from Sligo General Hospital on 24 September, 2010
died 28 September, 2010, Belfast Royal Victoria Hospital
Nora Hyland – died 13 February, 2012, National Maternity Hospital
Savita Halappanavar – died 28 October, 2012, Galway University Hospital
Sally Rowlette – died 5 February, 2013, Sligo General Hospital
The Elephant Collective’s tracks