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COVID-19

Mom who spent weeks in COVID-19 coma urging pregnant women to get vaccinated

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By Emma Dunn via SWNS

A pregnant woman had to learn to walk, talk and eat again after waking from a three-week coma - and couldn't remember having given birth.

Erem Ali, 29, was 31 weeks pregnant when she admitted herself to Royal Surrey County hospital, Guilford struggling to breathe and unable to feel her baby moving and thought she had coronavirus.

Doctors quickly realized she did have COVID-19 and her condition worsened so much that she needed to be put into an induced coma and her baby needed to be born five weeks early.

Baby Zorayz Ali, now eight months old, was delivered via an emergency c-section on February 2 weighing 4 pounds and 2 ounces just before Erem was put in the coma.

She has no memory of the C-section and didn't meet the baby when he was born.

After three weeks Erem was woken from the coma on the February 22, but still had to battle to breathe by herself and suffered blood clots, a bowel obstruction and had no recollection of giving birth to her son.

She wasn’t able to meet her new baby boy for five weeks - due to her infection and as he was kept in a different hospital.

Erem had to learn to walk, talk and eat again but made a miraculous recovery and was discharged in March 2021 - after a month and a half in hospital - to join her family and newborn.

Erem, a stay-at-home mum, Surrey, said: “When I came round and they told me I had the baby I was so confused.

“I didn’t have any memory of the c-section or giving birth. It was horrific.

“I was still struggling to breathe, and I wasn’t allowed to see my baby.

“Seeing him for the first time after over a month was so relieving, but I feel sad that I missed out on the first part of his life.

“I was so determined to recover for him and my other children.

"They kept me going."

Erem started to get a cough in January 2021 and started to get a tight feeling in her chest.

“I thought it was the baby pushing up,” she said.

But when she couldn’t feel her baby moving anymore she went to Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guilford, worried.

Doctors quickly suspected she had contracted coronavirus and rushed her to an isolation ward.

“My breathing suddenly started getting worse and my oxygen was low,” Erem said.

After a week in hospital, Erem’s condition deteriorated and doctors chose to put her on a ventilator and deliver her baby via an emergency c-section.

She was then placed in an induced coma after her lungs collapsed and was transferred to St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster, London.

“I don’t remember anything about the birth,” Erem said.

“I just remember then waking up three and half weeks later and being told I had a baby.

“I was so delirious and confused.

"It was really hard for my husband Junaid as he couldn't come and see me and couldn't be there for the birth."

Erem had a tracheostomy in when she came round to help her breathe and also struggled with bloating and constipation which led doctors to find she had a bowel obstruction.

She had to have a laparoscopy to put a medical mesh in her abdomen to hold it together.

“I was so weak I had to be hoisted up and no one could come and see me,” Erem said.

"I had to wave to my husband through the window."

Five weeks after the birth of Zorayz she was finally able to meet him.

“It was a very special moment but really hard that I was only just seeing him for the first time," she said.

"He didn't look fresh out of the womb but he was still quite small as he was premature.

"He was wiggling around already and opening his eyes.
It was so surreal.

“But I was just so glad to see that he was OK.”

Erem was so weak that she had to learn to walk, talk and eat again.

“At first I couldn’t speak,” she said.

"But I was very determined to get better."

After only two weeks in rehab Erem was able to come home.

“They called me a miracle for how quickly I bounced back,” she said.

“I was determined.

“I just wanted to get better for my baby and my family.”

Now Erem is back home with her husband, Junaid, 31, and their other children - Ariya, five, and Zakaryia, two - and she is back in good health.

“I still struggle talking sometimes,” she said.

“My voice is now quite quiet so people have to get close to hear me and I am on painkillers daily.

“But I am just so glad my baby and I survived. It’s so terrifying how close to death I was.

"I wish I had been able to have the vaccine when this happened to me.
But it was too early on in the vaccine roll out.

"Now I have been double jabbed. I now urge pregnant women to get it because it could save your life.

"I don't want anyone to go through what I have."

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