A woman has died from coronavirus just days after giving birth without ever being able to hold her newborn son.
Fozia Hanif, started to develop symptoms and tested positive for the disease just before her 29th birthday, resulting in the premature birth of her son, Ayaan, earlier this month.
Just six days after giving birth Hanif’s family were given the devastating news that she would not recover and her ventilator would be turned off.
The probation service worker, was only ever able to see her newborn son on a photograph printed for her by nurses at Birmingham Heartlands hospital, with her family describing it as a “happy” moment.
“She was really happy, she got the baby photo they (nurses) printed out for her,” her husband of nearly seven years, Wajid Ali, told ITV News.
“She was holding and say ‘look it’s our baby’ and ‘we’re going to come home soon’ … that’s the last time I spoke to her.”
Her sister, Sophie Hanif said she would receive texts telling her how excited she was to finally meet her baby.
“She was messaging us saying ‘oh I haven’t seen the baby yet’ and I said ‘don’t worry about it, when you come home you’re going to come home together and we’re all going to see him together’,” she said.
Initially Hanif who gave birth to her son on 2 April, showed some signs of overcoming the disease and was taken to a recovery ward, but shortly afterwards her condition worsened and she was moved to an intensive care unit (ICU).
Hanif, had been going to hospital for check-ups during her pregnancy, when she developed a slight fever in March and hospital staff decided to keep her in for tests. She tested positive for coronavirus but was soon released back home and was able to celebrate her birthday with her family.
However, while at home her condition quickly began to deteriorate, and she was taken back to hospital, isolated from her family and put on a ventilator.
Her husband said: “They said we’re going to keep her here to find out and we’re going to do a Covid test and they kept her for two days.
“The test came back positive and the next day they said it was mild and you can go home. After four days she had difficulty breathing and we called the ambulance.”
After being informed she had developed a blood clot and was in a coma, her husband and father, Nabil, were allowed to visit wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
At one stage the family were told her condition was improving and she would be taken to the recovery ward.
Her father said: “It gave us proper hope, we got excited. They took her to the recovery ward, they gave her the phone, we actually spoke to her.
“When we walked into the hospital when they said they were going to turn the machines off, I said no don’t turn it off until we arrive, she’s a fighter, she can pull through – but when we walked in there, we just kept praying.”
Hanif died on 8 April, six days after her son Ayaan was born just 31 weeks into her pregnancy by C-section. While Ayaan has tested negative, he remains in hospital.
Her sister added: “She had no time at all.
“She was asking for food, she was asking about the baby, she was asking about family and then all of a sudden… It was just a shock to us all.”