A heartbroken mum woke up to find one of her 'miracle IVF' triplets died suddenly in the night.
Bethanie Bullas, 26, is now trying to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome following her tragedy.
Her 19-month-old son Rogan had gone to sleep as normal on February 2019.
But when the first-time mum from Nottingham awoke the next day, she found her little boy dead.
Similar to cot death, Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is the sudden and unexplained death of a child.
However this affects older children – from the age of 12 months.
Following an unsuccessful first IVF treatment, Bethanie had been delighted to discover that she had fallen pregnant after undergoing a second round.
She was even more overjoyed to discover she and partner, Vijay Digpal, 27, were expecting not one baby, but triplets.
She gave birth to the ‘miracle’ tots – a little girl Amiya, and boys Rico and Rogan – in June 2017 after a textbook pregnancy.
The first-time parents noticed that 19-month-old Rogan had some ‘cold-like symptoms’ and put the triplets down for the night in their home in Hucknall, Nottingham – but he seemed fine the next day.
The following morning, the mum-of-three went into their room to find Rogan lying face down but initially she wasn’t concerned because he normally slept like that, she claims.
However Bethanie grew concerned when Rogan didn’t stir and his twin brother Rico began screaming, alerting her to check the tot.
The devastated mum claims her baby was ‘cold and hard’ and when she turned him over he was stiff with blue lips.
Rogan was rushed to Kings Mill Hospital, Nottingham, but there was nothing they doctors could do, and he passed away – with the family later discovering the death was due to SUDC.
Speaking for the first time after the ordeal Bethanie recalls the morning she lost her little boy to and is hoping to raise awareness.
Full time mum Bethanie said: “Rogan was such a cheeky, happy little boy and the day before he died he seemed fine.
“We had a lovely afternoon colouring, dancing and having fun and now he’s gone.
“Apart from having a slight cold, we didn’t notice anything was wrong.
“I’d never heard of SUDC before – it’s one of those things you think will never happen to you.
"It's absolutely devastated our family and Rogan leaves a hole in our lives that will never be filled.”
Bethanie and partner Vijay, who works in various roles in the building trade, were excited to start a family together in but Bethanie struggled to get pregnant.
After trying for a baby for two years and failing to conceive, the couple turned to IVF and were heartbroken when Bethanie miscarried her first child however she fell pregnant again during the second round of treatment.
“Five weeks in and I started bleeding, so we were worried I was miscarrying again,” Bethanie explains.
“We went to the doctors for a scan and it turned out I was pregnant with triplets – which can cause bleeding.
“We were having a little girl and twin boys, who were identical because one of the eggs split.
“We were pretty shocked – It was going to be a whole lifestyle change but were so excited."
Bethanie went into labour at 33 weeks and the triplets were delivered by emergency c-section at Nottingham Hospital on Tuesday 27th June 2017.
Amiya Bullas was first born, weighing 4lbs 3oz, followed by her indentical twin brothers Rogan and Rico, who weighed 4lbs 7oz and 4lbs 4oz respectively.
The triplets spent one day on the neonatal ward, then two weeks on the maternity ward
before the family of five were allowed to go home on Thursday 6th July 2017.
Bethanie said: “Our new life was very hectic, but it was perfect.
“Despite being premature, the babies never had any health problems but if they ever had a bug from playgroup then Rogan usually came down with it the worst.
“A couple days before died, he had some cold symptoms, but it went away and we didn't need to give him Calpol.
"Even the day before he seemed fine, so I put the kids to bed at 6pm.
“I checked on them a few times and then went to bed myself at around 9pm."
On 19th Tuesday 2019, Vijay and Bethany were up early taking care of the tots when they noticed something wasn't right.
She said: “It started off like any other morning.
“Their daddy was up for work so he made three bottles, he gave one to Amiya and checked on the boys but they were both still fast asleep.
“Five minutes later I heard noises from their room so I assumed they were up, Rico was awake but Rogan was still laying on his front – I wasn’t concerned because it’s how he usually slept.
“I gave Rico his bottle he started screaming and looking over at Rogan in his cot.
“He still wasn’t moving and I started to panic and when I touched him he felt cold and hard.
“As I turned him over my heart sank – he was stiff, both arms up by his face, blue lips and not breathing.
“I screamed to my partner who luckily hadn’t left for work yet. I cried ‘Rogan’s dead’ hysterically and he ran upstairs screaming, after that, it’s a bit of a blur.”
Vijay’s colleague, who had planned to give him a lift to work, came in the house and performed CPR while they waited called an ambulance.
Rogan was rushed to Kings Mill Hospital where doctors attempted to resuscitate the youngster but there was nothing they could do and he was pronounced dead.
The doctors performed a post-mortem and couldn’t find a cause of death so it was ruled as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC).
Bethanie said: “I’d never heard of it before, but sadly it happens more than you think.
“It’s one of the most common causes of death in children but no one talks about it.
"They're doing more tests, which could take six months, to see if there were any other causes.
“I am now worrying about my other two – I want to make people aware that it can happen to anyone.
“There’s no prevention for it so I’d like to see funding and research into SUDC, I want it to become more of a priority, and I’ve started fundraising.
“When I look at his brother Rico I’m reminded of Rogan because they’re identical twins.
“It’s a lovely reminder but it’s also really heart-breaking.
“Rogan was so loved and his memory will live on forever, his life was cut way too short, he bought so much joy and happiness and he will be truly missed.”
Bethanie has set-up a GoFundMe and a Facebook group called ReachforRogan where she is raising money for SUDC charity.
Her GoFundMe page can be found here.
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