The parents of a little girl who almost died in hospital just days after she was born believe that their daughter was one of Lucy Letby’s first victims.
Mike Whitfield and his wife Victoria are seeking justice for their daughter and other possible Letby victims after the killer nurse was yesterday convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to take the lives of six more.
The couple’s daughter, Felicity, suffered a catastrophic lung collapse three days after being born prematurely at the Countess of Chester Hospital – where Letby carried out her killing spree – in November 2013. Ms Whitfield believes she saw Letby standing by her baby’s cot before ‘all hell let loose’.
Felicity, who is now an energetic nine-year-old, came so close to death that a chaplain was called to conduct an emergency baptism. But she miraculously survived after doctors at a second hospital revived her in a procedure which had been tried twice without success at Chester.
The parents have spoken out after Letby, 33, replaced Myra Hindley and Ian Brady as the most prolific child killer in modern British history after a jury found her guilty of the heinous crimes.
Ms Whitfield was not aware at the time that the blonde woman she claims was standing by her daughter’s cot was a cowardly killer who once told worried mothers and fathers: ‘Trust me, I’m a nurse.’
Mike Whitfield and his wife Victoria are seeking justice for their daughter Felicity (pictured together in 2018) and other potential Letby victims
Felicity (pictured aged four), who is now an energetic nine-year-old, came so close to death that a chaplain was called to conduct an emergency baptism
Felicity (pictured on life support) miraculously survived after doctors at a second hospital revived her in a procedure which had been tried twice without success at Chester
Lucy Letby (pictured) became the most prolific baby killer in modern British history after being found guilty of seven murders and trying to kill six more
She recalled the moment that she left her hospital room to go to the neonatal unit at 3am in the morning. Ms Whitfield told The Times: ‘I don’t know what it was, call it mother’s instinct. I felt I needed to go down to the neonatal unit.
‘I walked in — everything seemed quite calm. Lucy Letby was by [the cot] and then she walked out into the other room. I went to have a look at Felicity and within minutes all hell broke loose.’
She added that it felt like she wasn’t in the room but there were nurses ‘running around everywhere’.
Ms Whitfield and her husband are now demanding that police probe the deaths and near deaths of babies in the time leading up to the period Letby was being investigated.
They also told The Telegraph that another baby suffered a catastrophic collapse and died after coming under the care of Letby.
Mr Whitfield told the newspaper: ‘The police investigation into the deaths and collapses at the hospital has to be widened to look at Felicity and the other unexplained collapses and deaths on that ward during the entire time Letby was working there, for the sake of all the parents.’
Medical notes confirmed that Letby had taken care of Felicity before she was transferred to another hospital. Mr Whitfield said that he remembers when Letby was first charged as his wife phoned him to say that they were lucky their daughter survived.
Ms Whitfield, who was recovering in bed after giving birth, remembers being shown a picture of Felicity before she was taken to her cot – and being told by nurses that she was doing well.
Felicity was just two days old when Mr Whitfield was sent home by a nurse – who he now believes was Letby – because he looked tired. He then received a phone call telling him his daughter was in a grave condition, with medical staff even urging them to get her baptised if they wanted because she was unlikely to survive.
Victoria and Michael Whitfield with their children (L-R) Felicity, Izabel, Verity and Bailey in 2018
Letby’s parents marked her graduation (pictured) by posting a notice in the local newspaper
Children’s nurse Lucy Letby (pictured in a custody photo, left; and while working in hospital, right) went on a year-long killing spree while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital
Their baby was then transferred to Arrowe Park Hospital, less than 20 miles away, where she was saved. She would later be taken back to the Countess of Chester Hospital to recover.
Letby is Britain’s most prolific child killer of modern times
The seven murder convictions make Letby Britain’s most prolific child killer of modern times.
In the 1960s Moors Murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady tortured, sexually assaulted and killed five children aged between 10 and 17.
Fred and Rose West raped, tortured and murdered at least ten girls and women – five of whom were between the ages of 15 and 18 – over the course of 20 years from 1967.
Nurse Beverly Allitt killed four of her child patients in 1991, while Robert Black raped and murdered four young girls in the early 1980s.
Letby also becomes the second worst female serial killer of all time behind West, who is serving a whole life tariff.
After Letby was arrested, the parents started to think more about their daughter’s brush with death. Ms Whitfield says she has a constant image from the night in question when she walked into the room and saw Letby looking up with no real expression on her face before she walked around the room and left.
Cheshire Police limited their investigation to the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses at the hospital’s neonatal unit between March 2015 and July 2016 – two years after Felicity almost died.
On Friday afternoon, the nation was rocked as Letby was found guilty of murdering five baby boys and two baby girls and attempting to murder four boys and two girls.
She was also found not guilty of two attempted murder charges but the jury could not reach verdicts on six further counts of attempted murder. She will be sentenced on Monday.
Letby preyed on babies small enough to fit in the palm of her hand by injecting air or insulin into their bloodstreams or feeding tubes, causing them to collapse and die.
In other cases she rammed medical equipment down their throats, causing them to bleed profusely as they lay in their cots.
Police are now reviewing the care of 4,000 babies Letby may have come into contact with during a spell at the Countess of Chester Hospital from January 2012 to the end of June 2016 and two work placements at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2012 and 2015.
Cheshire police have said that there was ‘nothing untoward established’ in Felicity’s case but the position could be assessed with new information.
Mr Whitfield and his wife are desperately seeking justice for Felicity and other babies because they are adamant Letby’s sickening crimes go beyond what she was investigated for.
Letby preyed on babies small enough to fit in the palm of her hand by injecting air or insulin into their bloodstreams or feeding tubes, causing them to collapse and die
Letby used to create ‘crisis situations’ so she could spend time with the doctor. Pictured is the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit where Letby went on a killing spree
A note found in Letby’s house that had the word ‘hate’ circled and added: ‘I am evil I did this’
Letby cries as she listens to the first guilty verdicts being read out by the foreman of the jury at Manchester Crown Court
While Letby’s motive is not clear, the prosecution suggested she got a ‘thrill’ out of ‘playing God’. She is pictured on a night out
The nurse was a seemingly ‘goofy’, ‘innocent’ young woman who kept Disney cuddly toys on her bed at home and posters with feel good slogans on the walls
After Letby was convicted at Manchester Crown Court, her mother broke down in court, crying out: ‘You can’t be serious. This cannot be right.’
Investigators suspect Letby had told them scant detail of the horrific nature of the crimes she was being accused of before it was laid out in front of them in court.
But Letby’s parents, Susan, 63, and John, 77, were a constant presence during her trial, attending every day of the ten-month proceedings in court.
A source told the Mail that Letby’s mother was distraught when she was arrested in 2018 – wailing, crying and even telling police, ‘I did it, take me instead,’ in a desperate bid to protect her.
Last night, the lead consultant on Letby’s neonatal ward accused hospital bosses of launching a ‘cover up’ to hide the killer’s evil actions from police after he, TV’s Dr Ravi Jayaram and five other doctors were forced to apologise to her.
Stephen Brearey accused managers at the NHS trust behind the Countess of Chester Hospital of ‘engineering the narrative’ to prevent police finding out about suspicious deaths in an emotional interview with the BBC’s Panorama.
When asked whether bosses at the hospital actively ‘covered up’ the deaths on the unit, Dr Brearey said: ‘I don’t know how you define a cover up but to us the evidence in front of us was quite clear, it felt like they’d tried to engineer a narrative, some way out of this which didn’t involve police.
‘If you want to call that a cover up, then that’s a cover up.’
WATCH THE MAIL’S LUCY LETBY DOCUMENTARY IN FULL HERE