Prosecutors today told a French court how a British mother screamed 'it hurts' in her last moments as a 'secret alcoholic' Belgian medic fatally botched her caesarean section by shoving a tube down her oesophagus.
Orlane Yaouang told Pau Criminal Court, in South West France, that Helga Wauters, 51, ‘was responsible for the death of Xynthia Hawke’ and should be sent to prison and banned from practising as a medic ever again.
Ms Hawke, 28, went into cardiac arrest after Wauters forced a breathing tube into her oesophagus instead of her windpipe when she was giving birth to her son, Isaac, six years ago.
The child survived, but Ms Hawke, originally from Somerset, died four days after the horrifying procedure at the Orthez maternity hospital, near Pau, in September 2014.
Ms Yaouang described how Ms Hawke had at first remained conscious through the early stages of the C-section, and at one point screamed: ‘It hurts! It hurts!’
Expat Xynthia Hawke, 28, from Somerset, (pictured, left, in an undated social media photo); and Helga Wauters, 53, (right, at the court in Pau on Thursday)
The late Xynthia Hawke's partner and father of their child, Yannick Balthazar, sits in the courtroom in Pau yesterday
Expat Xynthia Hawke, 28, from Somerset, died shortly after giving birth to son Isaac in September 2014. Her partner Yannick Balthazar (pictured with Hawke) is bringing him up
When oxygen began to run out, Wauters used a ventilator ‘that was not connected anything,’ said Ms Ms Yaouang.
‘And then there was a surreal scene – not understanding why it did not work, Mrs Wauters tested the respirator on herself!’ said Ms Yaouang.
Ms Yaouang said Wauters, who is a Belgian national, had not made her country’s medical authorities aware of her alcoholism – as she was professionally obliged to do – so it was a