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'Without the Special Care Unit I hate to think what would have happened'
A Radlett mother, whose husband died suddenly when she was five months pregnant, is on the hunt for sponsors for a series of fundraising events.
Rebekah Habib had little time to grieve when her husband Gulam passed away, as four months after his death, a problem with her umbilical cord meant she would have to give birth to her daughter Sorayah by emergency Caesarean section.
The problem was discovered at a routine midwife's appointment and, as it would have affected the baby’s oxygen supply, Mrs Habib was immediately taken to intensive care at Watford General Hospital.
Doctors suggested the stress of losing her husband, who she met at the age of 14, to a blood disorder the day before her 20-week scan could have brought on the problem.
Thanks to all of the support she received from Watford General Hospital, Mrs Habib decided to join forces with Audrey Mitchell, whose daughter Lilianna was also born prematurely, to set up HertsPrems to raise cash for the hospital.
The 27-year-old said: "When my husband died while I was 20 weeks pregnant, I soon discovered my baby was having trouble growing.
"My consultant at Watford said they were going to monitor me closely and when the time was right, I would be taken in for an emergency Caesarean section. This came sooner than expected at 36 weeks and my daughter only weighed three pounds and five ounces, which was extremely small.
"Because of this she had to stay at the special care baby unit at Watford General Hospital for four weeks. They were fantastic and offered me a lot of support through a very hard and emotional time. She is now 17 months and doing very well.
"Audrey’s daughter was born at 23 weeks and is one of the earliest babies to survive after life saving medical help from the hospital. She is now 22 months and doing exceptionally well.
"We met in the hospital’s special care baby unit and have gone on to be great friends, creating HertsPrems to help other parents on their tough journey of having a premature baby."
Through fundraisers, the group has managed to raise around £4,000 for the hospital unit.
They are now planning their next events which include a dinner and dance on Friday, November 16 in Bushey, and a Christmas fete on Saturday, December 1.
Mrs Habib said: "We need as much help as we can get, as we don’t have the money to support our fundraisers. If anyone can help us carry on raising cash for a cause that is so important. Without Watford General Hospital’s Special Care Unit, I hate to think what would have happened to our daughters.
"We need t-shirts, wristbands, stationery, leaflets, banners, posters and of course raffle prizes, entertainers and food. Even if someone wants to hire a stall for the Christmas fete, that would be great.
"I know all of these come at a price and times are tight, but what value does a baby’s life have?"
To pledge your support to HertsPrems, email Rebekah Habib at email@example.com.