British paramedics managed to save an unborn baby’s life in November after her mother collapsed and died suddenly in her home.
The Daily Mail reports Emma Olubayo, 41, of Leicester, England, had an undetected heart defect that led to her sudden death in late November. Medical professionals were not able to save her life in time, but they did save her daughter Aretha’s.
Husband and father Emmanuel Olubayo said baby Aretha is doing well at home, and she already looks like her mother. He said they have been blessed with strong family support.
Just a year ago, the Olubayos were newlyweds. Not long after their wedding, Emma became pregnant with Aretha.
“Emma was one of the most infectious people you could ever wish to meet. She had a huge circle of friends because of this,” her husband said. “Her personality, her caring attitude to others, her love of life and religious nature drew me to her immediately.
“She was over the moon when we found out we were pregnant. It was the best present in the world. Her siblings have children and she was godmother to a lot of children, so having her own child was a real gift,” he continued.
One Sunday afternoon in November, however, tragedy struck the new family.
Emma suddenly became ill while a friend was visiting them at home, Emmanuel said. When she “suddenly started gasping for breath,” they called paramedics.
The medical team worked hard to save Emma’s life for more than an hour, but they could not resuscitate her, her husband said. There in the living room, the paramedics made the decision to perform an emergency cesarean-section and try to save Emma’s unborn daughter.
Aretha arrived 10 weeks early in her parents’ living room. She was not breathing at first, but paramedics got her breathing quickly, according to the report.
“The emotions when she was born took over, I had lost my wife and also gained a daughter,” Emmanuel said. “She was 10 weeks early and as you can imagine at that time our emotions were one of upset due to the loss and concern for Aretha.”
After Emma died, doctors discovered that she had a heart defect that led to her death, her husband said.
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Emmanuel said grieving has been difficult because he has been so busy taking care of his daughter. He said people have been very supportive, and more than 650 people attended Emma’s funeral.
“I think the grieving process may not have fully started as my time has been spent with my daughter, I stayed in the hospital with her for six weeks, by her side caring for her, praying and talking to her about her mummy,” he said. “Now I am home my confidence is growing and I have great support from my family.”