A 29-year-old mother died with coronavirus just days after giving birth – before ever getting to see her baby.
Fozia Hanif had just celebrated her 29th birthday when her ventilator was turned off in Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.
After losing a child during her first pregnancy last year, Fozia had been going to hospital for regular maternity check ups during her second.
During one visit it was discovered she had a slight fever and later tested positive for Covid -19.
Fozia’s husband, Wajid Ali, 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 2 days.
“The test came back positive and the next day they said it was mild and you can go home.”
“After 4 days she had difficulty breathing and we called the ambulance.”
Her sister Sophia Hanif continued: “When the ambulance came they did checks … and everything was alright in terms of her blood pressure and sugar levels, but they still had to take her in to hospital for her baby and the next 2 days, I think it was the second day she was in hospital she gave birth.”
Fozia’s baby, Ayaan Hanif Ali, was born at 31 weeks on 2nd April 2020 by Caesarean section.
Fozia, who worked for probation services in Birmingham Magistrate’s Court, was taken to a recovery ward after the birth, but her condition deteriorated and she was relocated to an ICU ward where she was put onto a ventilator.
She was not able to receive visitors whilst on the ward and her family were only able to have a few phone calls with her whilst she was in the recovery ward.
The family say most of the communication around her condition was between her doctors and the family – though these were just once a day and often quite late.
“I think it brought us more anxiety … At one stage we were told she was getting better.”
Her father Nabil Hanif continued: “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.”
Because of her condition Fozia was not able to see her baby and only saw pictures of him before she passed.
“She had no time at all” says Sophia.
“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.”
Fozia’s husband got a call days after her submission to the ICU to say that her condition had deteriorated, she had developed a blood clot and was in a coma. Husband, Wajid and her father, Nabil were allowed to see her, wearing PPE:
“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.
Her ventilator was turned off on April 8 leaving her family “devastated”.
Her father says the family is still grieving “but we’ve got each other, holding each other, supporting each other, siblings, grandkids … she was a little superstar with us in our family. She was an inspiration to us all.”
Baby Ayaan tested negative for Covid-19 but remains in hospital.