14 March 2022

“The nurses were absolutely fantastic” says Sheffield mother given emergency caesarean at 29 weeks due to COVID and pneumonia

Mona Rehman, 41 from Sheffield, gave birth to her son, Abdul, at only 29 weeks by emergency caesarean after contracting COVID-19 and pneumonia last year. Mona spent over a month in hospital receiving life-saving treatment and has since praised the care she received from staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mona was initially admitted to hospital on 20th January 2021 when she was 28 weeks pregnant after suffering with a raised temperature and dehydration.

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

Mona was also tested for COVID-19 whilst in hospital and was found to be positive. She had a persistent cough and a chest scan revealed that she was also suffering from pneumonia, so she was transferred to a specialist COVID ward at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

“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’.”

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 and 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.”

“The nurses were absolutely fantastic. 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.

“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 17th February, 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 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.


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