Sheffield Teaching Hospitals: Mum hails 'fantastic' staff after emergency caesarean due to COVID and pneumonia

A Sheffield mother has told how she feared she would die after being rushed to theatre with Covid-19 and pneumonia for an emergency caesarean.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 14th March 2022, 12:23 pm

Thankfully Mona Rehman and her son Abdul, who was born at just 29 weeks, are both doing well – and Mona has praised the ‘fantastic’ NHS staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals for giving them the best possible care.

Mona, aged 41, was initially admitted to hospital on January 20 last year, when she was 29 weeks pregnant, after coming down with a 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,” she said.

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Mona Rehman and her son Abdul, who was born at just 29 weeks after an emergency caesarean. Mona has praised the life-saving care they received from staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Mona, who had a persistent cough, tested positive for Covid, and a chest scan revealed 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’,” she said.

“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.

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“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 started to rise 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 February 17, which was the first time that I’d had seen him in person,” she said.

“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, who needed physiotherapy to help her walk again, was not discharged until 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.