A COMBINATION of factors may have contributed to the death of a “well cared for and well-loved” four-week old girl, an inquest has found.

Florence Carey died on February 17, 2019, after her mother Mariah Carey woke up to find she was pale, not breathing, and had blood coming from her nose.

She was rushed to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, but was pronounced dead at 8.40am.

Days earlier, Florence – of Bryn Arwel in Cefn Hengoed – had been diagnosed with a mild case of bronchiolitis, after – on February 14 – Ms Carey took her to Prince Charles Hospital with concerns over her breathing.

“Florence’s mother informed us that [Florence] had a cough and a cold on that day,” said Dr Spandana Pasupuleti, whose evidence was read out at Newport Coroner’s Court.


“There was no wheezing or other sounds heard over her lungs.

“There were normal heart sounds with no murmurs.”

She was diagnosed with mild bronchiolitis, and after spending 90 minutes on the ward, was discharged.

Her temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were “all within normal range,” said Dr Pasupuleti.

Florence picked up in the following days, and her mother continued to keep an eye on her.

In the early hours of February 17, Florence woke up, and Ms Carey comforted her and held her in her arms on a reclining chair. She fell asleep on her mother’s chest.

Ms Carey woke up at around 7am and noticed her child was pale and not breathing, and had blood coming from her nose.

Dr Andrew Bamber, a consultant paediatric pathologist, examined Florence after her death.

Florence had a “mild upper airway inflammation consistent with a recent viral infection,” Dr Bamber said.

Dr Bamber warned in his evidence that there was an “increased risk of infant death while sleeping on a sofa.”

Assistant coroner for Gwent, Naomi Rees, offered her condolences to Florence’s family.

“She was clearly well cared for and well-loved at home,” she said. “Nobody could have predicted this outcome.

“Florence’s mother had her well-being at the forefront of her mind – that’s why they were sleeping together downstairs.”

Ms Rees read out a statement from Ms Carey.

She said she left the hospital “feeling numb.”

“I cannot describe how losing a child feels,” she said. “When Florence was born, there was a rainbow. When Florence died, there was a rainbow. And at Florence’s funeral, there was a rainbow.

“Florence was a rainbow baby, and every time I see one it brings me comfort.”

The medical cause of death was recorded as 1A: Upper airway obstruction; 2: Viral upper respiratory tract infection.

Ms Rees recorded a narrative conclusion.

“On February 17 2019, Florence Ruby Carey suffered accidental airway obstruction at home, having been asleep upon her mother on a reclining chair,” she said.

“She had been suffering with a mild viral illness which may have affected her ability to compensate for the obstruction to her airway.

“She was pronounced deceased at 8.40am on February 17, 2019 at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr.”