NHS worker woke from Covid coma to find she had given birth to twins

An NHS worker has finally returned home after delivering premature twins by caesarean while she was in an induced coma as a result of coronavirus.

Perpetual Uke didn’t see her newborns – girl Palmer and boy Pascal – until she came round 16 days after giving birth.

The proud mum took her babies home from hospital in Birmingham after they spent almost four months in intensive care.

‘When I woke up, I had significant confusion as I could not see my pregnancy. It was really difficult at first as during my sedation I had some really terrifying vivid dreams,’ said the mum of four.

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‘Initially, I believed I had lost my twins, husband and other children.

‘The first time I met the twins was very emotional. I was happy that we were all alive, but obviously concerned about their severe prematurity which has its own risks.

‘I had never wanted them to go through this difficult path at the start of their lives.

‘They couldn’t see their mum for two weeks, which obviously made me very sad but, importantly, things had progressed well.’

Perpetual, who is a rheumatology consultant at Birmingham City Hospital, said she began to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms in late March.

After calling NHS 111 she began self-isolating but, over the coming days, she felt more and more unwell.

She was admitted to a respiratory ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham but was quickly transferred to the critical care unit after her condition deteriorated.

To protect her during her pregnancy while she fought the infection, Perpetual was placed into an induced coma and her breathing was taken over by a ventilator.

It was then decided that it would be safer for Perpetual and her twins for them to be delivered via caesarean section. They were born on April 10 at 26 weeks.

Sochika Palmer weighed just 770 grams while her brother, Osinachi Pascal, weighed 850 grams. Immediately after they were born, they were admitted to the specialist neonatal intensive care unit.

While Perpetual remained in a coma and recovered, her husband Matthew looked after his new twins and the couple’s other children, Nnamdi Ronald and Chisimdi Claire.

Perpetual woke up on April 26, then was told of the birth and how the twins were recovering well.

More than a month after first being admitted to hospital, Perpetual was able to return home to Harborne where she was able to see her other children for the first time since beginning to feel unwell.

The twins continued to be cared for and were discharged from hospital 116 days into their lives. The family were clapped out of the doors by an emotional team.

Perpetual added: ‘From birth, Palmer and Pascal were managed professionally, with excellent care.

‘They fought aggressively for their lives and I was very emotional the day their 100 days in NICU was celebrated.

‘I remain ever grateful to God almighty for using the amazing NICU team in restoring their lives.’

Yvonne Heward, head of neonatal nursing at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s, said: ‘It was a very emotional time when Perpetual was treated in intensive care.

‘Their journey has been miraculous and the day of their discharge home under the care of our neonatal community outreach team was very emotional indeed.

‘It was such a pleasure for us to care for this wonderful family and we have the upmost admiration for them.’

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