Mother who spent 21 days in coma after twins were born prematurely urges pregnant women to get Covid vaccine

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A mother whose twins were born prematurely while she was in a coma for 21 days after becoming critically ill with Covid has urged pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Sultana Ashiq, 34, was almost 31 weeks pregnant when she was being rushed to hospital when she became ill with Covid in January, 2021.

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Ms Ashiq, from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, who was ineligible for the vaccine at the time, was “deteriorating very fast” in hospital.

Her daughters, Eyeza and Amara, were delivered by Caesarean while Ms Ashiq was in a coma.

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She spent 46 days in intensive care, first seeing her daughters on a video link before finally being able to hold them 41 days after giving birth.

It comes after a new Government campaign, in cooperation with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives, was launched last week urging pregnant women to get vaccinated.

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Doctors, experts and campaigners have told i that the “mixed” and “vague” messaging on Covid vaccines in pregnancy has led to deaths and premature births.

Mother who spent 21 days in coma after twins were born prematurely urges pregnant women to get Covid vaccine
© Provided by The i Sultana Ashiq was in a coma for 21 days and her daughters were born prematurely after she caught Covid,She is now urging pregnant women to get vaccinated (Photo credit: Sultana Ashiq)

Ms Ashiq said she “started to panic” after being taken to hospital when she became ill and was “deteriorating fast”.

She told i: “I said can you take the babies out because I can’t breathe. It feels like my lungs are being pressurised because of pregnancy. I can’t breathe as well.

“They gave me this non-invasive ventilator. It was so suffocating to me, I was so claustrophobic at that time, I said take this mask off. They were like, ‘You have to breathe in it if you don’t you will die’.

“I heard [a doctor] saying to my husband, ‘We have taken the decision to take the babies out we are going to intubate her’. That was the last memory I had and then after that blackout.”

Eyeza and Amara, were born two months prematurely, and Ms Ashiq was unable to see them for 41 days.

Mother who spent 21 days in coma after twins were born prematurely urges pregnant women to get Covid vaccine
© Provided by The i Ms Ashiq spent 21 days in a coma, with her daughters delivered by Cesaraen section (Photo credit: Supplied)

Ms Ashiq, who is now tripled jabbed, developed sepsis and suffered a collapsed lung while in hospital.

Last month, pregnant women were classed as “clinically at risk” for the first time from Covid and prioritised for vaccines by government advisers from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

New research published last week showed that 98 per cent of pregnant women with Covid admitted to critical care in Scotland were unvaccinated.

Researchers found babies of women who had recently caught Covid were more than twice as likely to be born prematurely in findings for the Pregnancy in Scotland study, published in Nature Medicine.

Ms Ashiq is now encouraging pregnant women to take the vaccine, with the new Government-led campaign underlining that  vaccines are safe for pregnant women and have no impact on fertility.

She added: “It is quite unpredictable for us that Covid is going to choose which body to hit bad. But if it is pregnant it is definitely vulnerable and that means more chances for you to get worse.

“If the pregnant women are thinking, ‘We might have mild symptoms like a flu’ what if it goes worse?’ There has been people who are dying unvaccinated.

“Why not take the safety net now and go for the vaccination rather than leaving it too late?

“The damage Covid does to you is not just your lungs it damages you throughout your body. I am on daily medication.”

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