Baby drowned in three inches of bath water after mother suffered reaction to Covid vaccination

Attorney Louise Atkinson passed out while bathing nine-month-old Eleanor, nicknamed Ellie, the day after her first Astrazeneca shot – her husband James came home to find Ellie turning blue and his wife on the floor

Ellie was taken to Southampton General Hospital
Nine-month-old Ellie was taken to Southampton General Hospital where she sadly died

A baby died after drowning in three inches of bathwater when her mother passed out after suffering an adverse reaction to the Covid surge, an inquest has found.

Attorney Louise Atkinson passed out while bathing nine-month-old Eleanor, nicknamed Ellie, the day after her first Astrazeneca shot.

Her husband James came home from a dentist appointment to find the bathroom door blocked by his unresponsive wife on the floor.

He saw little Ellie turning blue face down in the bathtub.

Mr Atkinson lifted her out of the water and woke his wife by holding her.

He then placed Ellie on the bathroom floor where he began CPR while calling 999.

Mr Atkinson, a business manager, continued resuscitation attempts until emergency services arrived at her home in Christchurch, Dorset, six minutes later.

Ellie was taken to Southampton General Hospital by helicopter but died hours later in March 2021.

The investigation revealed that the mother suffered an adverse reaction to the Covid-19 surge


AFP via Getty Images)

It is not known how long Ellie was in hiding before she was found, but the investigation found it could have been up to 30 minutes.

A post-mortem found the cause of death “on a probabilistic basis” was water inhalation or drowning.

Police investigated Ellie’s death and concluded it was a “tragic accident”.

They contacted Public Health England about Ms Atkinson’s adverse reaction to the vaccine and received a general report saying “drowsiness and drowsiness” was an unusual possible side effect.

The Bournemouth inquest found Ellie was born prematurely at 33 weeks and had a heart defect and feeding problems, meaning she was underweight.

She was due to have heart surgery on March 25 and Ms Atkinson said she had struggled to sleep or eat in the days before because of “anxiety”.

The mother said she started bathing her daughter at 10:30 am on March 23 and it would normally have taken 10 to 15 minutes.

Ellie sat in a bath seat in three inches of water and Mrs Atkinson told the inquest the last thing she remembered was bending down to lift her out.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered in Brighton


Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

An emotional Ms Atkinson said: “I started picking her up and that’s all I can remember.

“The next thing I remember, James was yelling at me and pulling on me.”

Mr Atkinson appeared at the inquest via video link and wept as he described finding his wife and daughter around 11.15am.

He said: “I went upstairs and saw the bathroom door was closed, which was unusual. I wanted to push open the door, but I couldn’t open it.

“I squeezed it harder and that’s when I saw Louise on the floor and Ellie in the bathtub. I forced myself through the door and got Ellie out of the bathtub.

“I put Ellie on the floor and started CPR and called 911. I was trying to do two things at once with the speakerphone next to me. I performed CPR until the paramedics arrived and took over.”

Ms Atkinson said it was unusual for her to faint and it had only happened to her twice before Ellie’s death, both times in her late teens.

She said she experienced another blackout while visiting Ellie’s grave the day after her second vaccination in June 2021.

A passer-by saw her fall and came to her aid.

Ms Atkinson told the inquest that she underwent a seven-day check-up after her second fainting, and although experts could not find a clear explanation, her reaction to the vaccine has been cited as a contributing factor.

Detective Sergeant Phil Read of Dorset Police said: “We concluded that it was a tragic accident that Ellie drowned in the bath and there may have been contributing factors.

“One of them is the potential side effect of the Covid vaccine.

“Ms Atkinson was also sleep deprived as they were going through a stressful time.

“She hadn’t eaten and is slim. All of these factors could have led to her possibly getting up to bend down to pick Ellie up and pass out.

“She may have collapsed or been unconscious for a long period of time.”

Dorset Assistant Medical Examiner Brendan Allen recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: “Ellie was bathing at home under her mother’s supervision when her mother broke down and became unresponsive.

“Ellie was found unresponsive in the bathtub by her father and paramedics were called.

“She was transferred to Southampton Hospital where she died.

“My conclusion is that she died as a result of an accident.”

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