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Mum whose son was stillborn as she battled Covid makes desperate plea for people to get vaccinated

The 38-year-old mum was in a coma and hospitalised for months after contracting Covid

A mother whose baby was stillborn while she was in hospital seriously ill with Covid-19 has made a desperate plea for people to get vaccinated.

Rachel, 38, whose surname was not given, was so unwell that she did not realise she had given birth to her son Jaxon, at 24 weeks, in August.

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Rachel was only able to see her baby boy once (Photo: PA)

The 38-year-old had tried to get the vaccine while she was pregnant last year, but the advice at the time was for expectant mothers not to have it due to uncertainty over the effects.

She said she planned to get the jab once she had given birth now, but “it wasn’t meant to be”.

‘I was only able to see him once’

Rachel, from Bilston in Wolverhampton, explained how she was so poorly that she only found out she had given birth a few days later, and was tragically only able to see her baby boy once.

Speaking about her loss, she said: “I didn’t actually know I had given birth. I was on drugs so they wanted to tell me when I wasn’t sedated, and the obstetrician informed me a few days later.

“My emotions were disbelief – one minute you’re having a scan and a gender reveal, naming the baby and getting excited, and then there was this sudden loss.

“I was only able to see him once.

“Normally I’d have been able to spend a lot more time with him and to hold him. But I didn’t get to do that because of the circumstances.”

Rachel said that things have been difficult for her partner and her 18-year-old son, and said her family are all “devastated” over their loss.

She added: “We were all very excited at this new life then we were left with nothing.”

She thanked staff at New Cross Hospital’s integrated critical care unit (ICCU) and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for their care.

Get vaccinated to ‘save months of agony’

Rachel was in a coma and hospitalised for three and a half months after contracting Covid-19.

After her difficult experience she is now pleading for everyone who is eligible to go and get vaccinated to spare themselves the “months of agony” of becoming severely unwell.

She said: “I would say take it – it’s a two-minute thing that can save months of agony if you end up like I was.”

In November last year, experts warned that while uptake of the vaccine among pregnant women was improving, they were worried about some groups shunning the jabs, particularly younger women, those in the most deprived areas and women from black and minority ethnic communities.

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Social Care cited statistics from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System which it said showed 96.3% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 symptoms between May and October were unvaccinated, a third of whom required respiratory support.

As more data has emerged showing the vaccine to be safe, health experts have made repeated calls for pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Rachel has echoed these calls, saying it is “really important” everyone gets their jabs.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) now considers pregnant women as a clinical risk group within the Covid-19 vaccination programme in light of growing evidence that expect mothers are at increased risk of serious consequences from the virus.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of JCVI Covid-19 Immunisation, said: “There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines used in pregnancy increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, congenital abnormalities or birth complications.

“Having a UK approved Covid-19 vaccine is safer than having Covid-19 itself.

“Women who are pregnant are strongly encouraged to have a first, second or booster vaccine dose as appropriate in order to better protect yourself and your baby from any serious consequences from Covid-19.”

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