Mother, 26, reveal heartbreaking story of her triplets death

Mother, 26, who found one of her miracle IVF triplets ‘face down’ in his cot reveals the heartbreaking story of his unexplained death

  • Bethanie Bullas, 26, found 19-month-old son Rogan laying face down in February 
  • He was taken to Kings Mill Hospital, Nottingham, but doctors couldn’t save him  
  • Mum shared story to raise awareness of sudden unexplained death in childhood
  • Bethanie and partner Vijay also have daughter Amiya and Rogan’s twin Rico

A mother is raising awareness of sudden unexplained death in childhood after she found one of her ‘miracle IVF’ triplets had died in the night.

Bethanie Bullas, 26, from Hucknall, Nottingham, was devastated to find her 19-month-old son Rogan had passed away in his sleep in February this year.

Similar to cot death, sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC) is the sudden and unexplained death of an older child from the age of twelve months.  

First-time mother Bethanie, who also has children Amiya and Rico, revealed how she found Rogan lying face down in his crib.

Bethanie Bullas, 26, has revealed how she discovered her baby Rogan, pictured together, face down in his crib after he suddenly died in his sleep in February

Rogan was a triplet, and identical twin with brother Rico, conceived after mother Bethanie and her partner Vijay Digpal had IVF. Pictured left to right is Rico, Amiya, and Rogan 

Rogan was rushed to Kings Mill Hospital, Nottingham, but there was nothing doctors could do and the family later discovered his death was due to SUDC. 

Speaking for the first time since her son died, Bethanie said she wasn’t worried when she saw Rogan face down because he normally slept like that but was concerned when his twin Rico started screaming and he didn’t stir. 

The mother then went to her son’s crib to touch Rogan and discovered that he ‘felt cold and hard’ and had ‘blue lips’. 

Bethanie said: ‘Rogan was such a cheeky, happy little boy and the day before he died he seemed fine. 

Bethanie, pictured with her partner Vijay and triplets, said when she touched Rogan (middle) in his crib he was ‘cold and hard’ and had ‘blue lips’

The day before Rogan, pictured with Bethanie, died he ‘seemed fine’ and spent the afternoon dancing and having fun. His devastated mother said he ‘had a slight cold’

‘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 explained how she and partner Vijay Digpal, 27, were overjoyed to discover she had fallen pregnant after undergoing a second round of IVF treatment, following an unsuccessful first round.

Bethanie was even more delighted to discover they were expecting triplets and she gave birth to little girl Amiya, and twin boys Rico and Rogan  in June 2017.   

However on 19th February this year, Vijay and Bethany were up early taking care of the tots when they noticed something wasn’t right.

Bethanie said losing her son Rogan, pictured, has ‘devastated’ her family and left ‘a hole in our lives that will never be filled’

On the morning Rogan, pictured with father Vijay at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Bethanie said it was like any other morning and she wasn’t initially worried about Rogan laying on his front

Bethanie 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 gave Rico his bottle and 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.

Vijay’s colleague came in to the family’s house and performed CPR on Rogan while they waited for an ambulance. Pictured is Bethanie holding Amiya, Rogan with Santa and Vijay with Rico

Doctors performed a post-mortem on Rogan, pictured, and couldn’t find a cause of death so it was ruled as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC)

Since her son’s death Bethanie has been fundraising so that more research can be done into SUDC. Pictured is Rogan in the bath

‘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 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.

Bethanie and Vijay tried for two years to have a baby before turning to IVF. On their second round she became pregnant with triplets, pictured left to right is Rico, Amiya and Rogan

Bethanie, pictured with Vijay before giving birth, went into labour at 33 weeks and the triplets were delivered by emergency c-section at Nottingham Hospital in June 2017

Bethanie said: ‘Five weeks in and I started bleeding, so we were worried I was miscarrying again.

‘We went to the doctors for a scan and it turned out I was pregnant with triplets – which can cause bleeding.

What is sudden unexplained death in childhood? 

Sudden unexpected death in childhood is a term often used if a child over one year and up to 16 years dies unexpectedly.

The term SUDC is used if the cause of death is still unexplained after a thorough case investigation.

This includes after having an autopsy and no cause being found.

Most often, a seemingly healthy child goes to sleep and never wakes up.

It is not currently known what causes SUDC or how to prevent it.

Over 40 children in England and Wales die every year without reason. 

For children under one year it is called sudden infant death syndrome. 

Sources: SUDC UK and the Lullaby Trust 

‘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 identical 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.’

The first time mother, pictured while she was pregnant, said her three babies never had any health problems despite being born premature 

Bethanie said: ‘I’d never heard of SUDC 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.

Bethanie, pictured at her baby shower, said: ‘Rogan was so loved … he will be truly missed’

‘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 page and a Facebook group called ReachforRogan where she is raising money for SUDC charity. 

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