Monday, 26 Oct 2020

New mother, 35, dies of coronavirus before she could hold her baby

New mother, 35, dies of coronavirus before she could hold her baby as she was put into an induced coma for a month after giving birth

  • Sarah Scully, 35, from Birmingham developed Covid-19 while heavily pregnant 
  • She gave birth by emergency caesarean before her condition deteriorated 
  • Ms Scully spent a month in a coma before he body started to shut down 
  • Her family said Ms Scully was never able to hold her baby before her death  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Tragic mother Sarah Scully died from coronavirus soon after giving birth, without ever getting the chance to hold her infant son.

Sarah, just 35, developed Covid-19 while heavily pregnant. Tragically, after giving birth to her baby, she rapidly deteriorated and, after a month in a coma, she lost her life.

Her mother Elizabeth and twin brother Keiron are among the family and friends left devastated by her sudden passing.

Sarah, just 35, developed Covid-19 while heavily pregnant. Tragically, after giving birth to her baby, she rapidly deteriorated and, after a month in a coma, she lost her life

‘She didn’t get to meet her baby and hug him,’ said heartbroken Elizabeth, from Erdington.

Sarah did get to see a photo of her baby, taken by a nurse and passed on to her, but was robbed of the chance to hold him because of her Covid diagnosis, she said.

‘We were really close, she always asked my advice, we were like best friends.

‘She was loyal, honest, caring, just a lovely daughter and mum. No all that is gone.’

Sarah’s funeral took place last Wednesday, attended by a small gathering under social distancing rules, but including colleagues from Boots in West Bromwich, where she worked as a make-up specialist.

Her aunt Joy, Elizabeth’s sister, said: ‘She was a lovely, shy girl, she always looked immaculate, she loved hair and beauty and really enjoyed her job. She was really kind.’

Sarah complained of feeling increasingly unwell, her mum drove her to Birmingham Women’s Hospital. Due to Covid restrictions, Sarah was admitted alone, said Joy

Sarah was also known as Nasheem, her birthname.

Both Sarah and Elizabeth fell ill in early April. Elizabeth had just completed an eight day stint covering for ill colleagues at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust when she started to feel unwell.

Soon after daughter Sarah, who had been using public transport to get around, began to feel ill too, complaining of fatigue, muscle pains and breathlessness.

But she was reassured by a visit to her midwife, who said her symptoms were all common complaints for mums-to-be close to birth.

As a precaution, both mum and daughter took a Covid-19 test and were advised the results would be through within five days.

But soon after, as Sarah complained of feeling increasingly unwell, her mum drove her to Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Due to Covid restrictions, Sarah was admitted alone, said Joy.

‘Her mum waved her goodbye from the car as she was wheeled away in a wheelchair.’

The family say one small act of grace was that they were able to find an undertaker willing to allow for Sarah to be dressed in her favourite outfit and her hair and make up done, ahead of her funeral

Soon after, an emergency caesarean was performed and her baby boy was safely delivered on Easter Sunday morning. To the delight of her family, Sarah was sitting up and eating soon afterwards.

She called her mum and her aunty while tucking into lunch. She told them she had not yet seen her baby or been able to hold him because they had been immediately separated because of her suspected coronavirus, but maternity staff had taken a picture which they shared with her.

Within hours, though, her condition began to deteriorate and she was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she was put into an induced coma to help her body fight off the virus.

She ended up staying sedated for a month.

Her kidneys failed and she developed septicaemia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) as the virus developed.

Her mother was allowed to visit and see her daughter, and was with her when her ventilator was switched off on May 12, exactly a month after her baby was born. She died within a short time, her body weakened by Covid.

The family say one small act of grace was that they were able to find an undertaker willing to allow for Sarah to be dressed in her favourite outfit and her hair and make up done, ahead of her funeral.

It was a final act of love that, it turns out, was denied to many other families at the height of the pandemic because of infection risks.

‘The first funeral director we approached said they could only place the body bag used to transport her from hospital into the coffin, which would then be sealed. We could not even view the body,’ said Joy.

‘But we heard about another, smaller family run firm that would do what we wished for Sarah. It gave us a little bit of comfort.’

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