Dublin City Coroner’s court heard how Baby David Connors’ fall had compounded a prior fall down some stairs less than two weeks previously.
David Connors of Ballybeg, Co Waterford, died at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin on April 5 2010.
A postmortem examination carried out by state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy found the 22-month-old baby had died from head trauma and necrosis.
An emotional Margaret Connors told the inquest into her son’s death that she was in the kitchen on March 13 when she heard a loud bang followed by several thuds coming from the hallway.
She went out and could see her baby lying at the bottom of the stairs along with her 5-year-old son Gerry Jnr. Gerry Jnr said the baby had fallen down some steps.
Over the next two weeks Mrs Connors brought her baby to a doctor twice and to hospital once saying she had feared he had suffered a head injury as he had been vomiting in his sleep, not wanting to eat or play, rubbing his head a lot and crying.
She was told on each occasion by doctors that the baby was fine and was most likely just suffering from an ear infection.
An autopsy later showed the baby had suffered a number of tiny haemorrhages in the fall, though not sufficient to cause death.
Less than two weeks later, Ms Connors’ husband Gerry heard a loud thud upstairs. He went up and discovered David had fallen out of his cot, even though the safety barrier was up.
The devastated father told the court baby David was initially crying but fell into unconsciousness very quickly.
The inquest had heard the baby, a twin, was learning to walk and had been climbing things a lot.
The baby was taken to Temple Street Hospital where a MRI scan revealed a bi-lateral subdural haemorrhage. The baby died 10 days later.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dublin city coroner Dr Brian Farrell told Margaret and Gerry Connors: “We are so sorry to hear what happened. I’m sure this has been a devastating loss for you both and everyone in the family.
“The baby may well have recovered from the first incident on the stairs. It was the combination of both falls that led to his death,” he added.