Mom of Five Dies Before Meeting Newborn After Waiting To Get COVID Vaccine

A woman who was pregnant with her fifth child died from COVID-19 before getting the chance to meet her newborn.

Saiqa Parveen, 37, from Birmingham, England, became infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, around eight months into the pregnancy. She subsequently spent five weeks in intensive care.

Parveen's condition deteriorated throughout September and medical staff had to put her on a ventilator and deliver her baby. Parveen passed away in early November without ever being able to hold the child.

The woman's husband, Majid Ghafur, 40, is now taking care of the five children by himself. The baby was born healthy, despite her mother's disease.

Ghafur told Sky News: "She didn't even know if she'd had a baby girl or a boy. It's very sad, very sad. It was just shocking. She didn't have a chance to talk to me, five minutes even, to tell me about the daughters, you know, what to do."

"She couldn't even talk. She couldn't breathe properly, she couldn't talk," she said. "This has changed my life completely. Since this happened, I'm thinking how do I cope with this?"

The husband said that while he was able to visit his wife in intensive care, his children had to say their goodbyes via video chat.

Ghafur said his wife had been offered the COVID-19 vaccine in the summer but had taken the decision to wait until after her baby was born to get the shot.

In the wake of his wife's death, Ghafur urged people who have not been vaccinated to get their shots if they can.

"She was a very great person, my wife," Ghafur said. "I'm going to pass this message to the whole world, I just beg all people to get the vaccine, otherwise it's very hard for them."

"It's a very deadly disease, you know. She planned so many things. And this disease didn't give her a chance."

The husband told local news outlet the Birmingham Mail that his wife had no underlying conditions and was healthy prior to contracting COVID-19.

As her condition deteriorated in hospital, Parveen was suffering from sepsis, double pneumonia, other infections besides COVID-19 and holes in both her lungs.

Ghafur said the death of his wife was a tremendous loss for the whole family.

"Her daughters ask, 'When's mommy coming back'? Parveen was the most caring person, she couldn't live without her family," he told the Mail. "She was a lady of principle. She cared for everybody and her mother is still alive."

"Everyone was praying for her. She was very hard-working and a helpful lady. Her husband is crying but he's got to be strong for his daughters."

Pregnant women and those who have recently had a baby are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

This is because pregnancy causes changes in the body that can reduce its ability to fight respiratory infections.

The CDC says vaccination can protect you from severe COVID-19 illness and is recommended for all people aged 12 years and older, including "people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future."

The currently available evidence indicates that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy, according to the CDC.

There is no evidence to suggest that any COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems in men or women, the agency said.

Coronavirus particles
An artist's illustration of coronavirus particles. A mother who was pregnant with her fifth child has died from COVID-19. iStock