New mother praises NHS after emergency caesarean at 29 weeks due to Covid-19 and pneumonia

A Yorkshire mother has praised the NHS after she had an emergency caesarean while battling Covid-19 and pneumonia.

Mona Rehman, from Sheffield, gave birth to her son, Abdul, at only 29 weeks by emergency caesarean in January.

She was kept in hospital for more than a month, and had life-saving treatment as well as physiotherapy to get back up to speed.

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She was initially admitted to hospital on January 20 last year with a temperature and dehydration - but it was soon discovered that she had Covid-19 and pneumonia.

Mona Rehman and her son, Abdul

The 41-year-old, who was 28 weeks pregnant at the time, told doctors she thought she was going to die, and later said with the stress from her conditions and he pregnancy that her body "just collapsed".

“I just felt really drained and had hot and cold shivers so ended up going to A&E at the Northern General Hospital," she said. "The doctors said that I had a urine infection and that I was dehydrated, so they put me on a drip.”

She had a persistent cough so was tested for Covid-19 and was found to be positive. A chest scan then also revealed she was suffering from pneumonia. She was then transferred to a specialist Covid ward at Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

She said: “One morning I felt a pain on the left side of my stomach like a burning sensation. It wasn’t a contraction. I was just in so much agony. The nurse came in around 5am and all I can remember saying was ‘I feel like I’m going to die’.

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"I was taken to theatre with a suspected stomach rupture thought to be due to the persistent coughing in part and because by this time my body was so weak because of Covid.

"The pneumonia and my oxygen levels were dropping. I had to have an emergency caesarean to deliver Abdul, at only 29 weeks.

"I was put on a ventilator to help with my breathing and after four days they woke me up and I remember them telling me that I’d had a baby. All I could think was that can’t be true, I’m not due until April."

She has now spoken out about her ordeal to praise the staff at the two hospitals who helped save her life.

“The nurses were absolutely fantastic," she added. "I couldn’t eat properly but I was drinking lots of fluids and the nurses were helping me to shower and go to the toilet.

"They also took the time to facetime my husband, mum, dad and brother and it really kept me going."

Once Mona’s oxygen levels had started to go up and the pneumonia had settled, she was transferred to a ward closer to her son.

She said: "They showed me photos of Adbul and gave me updates of his progress in the neonatal unit until they were actually able to bring him to me on the February 17, which was the first time that I’d had seen him in person.

"After that I started to look forward to seeing my son and getting better and although I was still weak, I knew I needed to get on with it so that I could be with him.

“I asked the surgeon what had happened and he said it was a combination of the pneumonia and the cough from Covid that had attacked my system. Because I was already dehydrated, everything came at once and my body just collapsed.”

Mona was eventually discharged from hospital at the end of February, while Abdul was kept in and given high-flow oxygen until he was healthy to go home, which

Mona was given physiotherapy to help her walk again and was eventually discharged from hospital at the end of February. Abdul remained on high flow oxygen in the Neonatal Unit until he was healthy enough to come home at the end of March.