Pregnant woman , 25, and unborn baby die suddenly after ‘epileptic seizure’ at home

A pregnant woman and her unborn child died suddenly after a suspected epileptic attack.

Megan Gardiner was just 25 when she passed away in June this year, while 17 weeks pregnant with a boy.

Ms Gardiner’s mother Alison Woolcock has since raised concerns with the change in medication her daughter was issued shortly before her death due to her pregnancy.

Tributes have been paid to Ms Gardiner, who was just 25 years-old


The 25-year-old had suffered from severe epilepsy since she was 13 and was on three medications to treat the condition.

“Every morning when I would wake up, I would always call to Megan to check that she’d took her medication […] and she’d always respond. And on that morning, she didn’t respond,” Ms Woolcock said.

The 51-year-old found her daughter’s body in her bedroom later that afternoon.

Ms Woolcock’s suspicions that the fatal seizure was caused by A change in medication strengthened after Paige Ellis, another pregnant woman from Barry, Wales, died.

Ms Ellis passed away following a suspected epileptic seizure after being given new medication by the same hospital.

Megan left behind a devastated boyfriend

(Alison Woolcock)

Ms Gardiner and her mother went to Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales on May 23 when she was told that two of the medicines, Lamotrigine and Brivaracetam, did not pose any risk to the foetus – but research around her third medication, Zonisamide, was unclear.

The expecting mother took advice from the hospital to increase her dosage of Lamotrigine and ween off Zonisamide.

“Any parent told that taking something could harm their baby would listen to that advice. She wanted to do the best she could for her baby,” Ms Woolcock said.

Megan with her parents and sister

(Alison Woolcock)

Ms Gardiner’s parents are all too familiar with the heartache of losing a child, as they lost their middle daughter while she was just an infant.

“We’re all heartbroken. Megan was our first born child. We lost our second daughter when Megan was four and a half. So we’ve already been through this once and going through it again- it’s just devastating.”

On a JustGiving page that the family created in her memory, they wrote: “Megan’s life has been stolen. Alongside the loss of our beautiful Megan we have also lost the opportunity to love and get to know the baby she is carrying.”

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board issued a statement on the deaths of Ms Gardiner and Ms Ellis.

A spokesperson said “Our thoughts are with the families at this incredibly sad time. The concerns are being reviewed in line with our governance process but due to patient confidentiality we are unable to comment on individual cases.

“Once completed, the investigation findings will be shared with the next of kin and based upon preliminary review we have not identified any immediate care and treatment concerns.

“We appreciate how difficult this time is for family and loved ones. However, if the families wish to discuss anything further we would ask they speak with their named point of contact.”