COVID-19: Mother put in six-week coma after giving birth makes 'incredible recovery'

·2-min read

A woman who caught COVID and then gave birth before being placed into an induced coma for six weeks has made an "incredible recovery".

Hajrah Aslam, 28, went into a coma when her oxygen levels dropped dangerously low after giving birth to her first child, Huzayfah.

Ms Aslam, from Peterborough, caught coronavirus in January when she was 35 weeks pregnant.

After going through 11 weeks of rehabilitation at Askham Rehab in Cambridgeshire, she is now recovering with her son, who will be seven months old on Friday.

"All I could see was my baby boy's face," she told the PA news agency.

"I kept on saying his name, even when I was in excruciating pain, I kept on going and going.

"Being a first-time mum, I want to do all the things that mothers do; hold him, play with him. I feel like I've missed out from the beginning, but now is the time to make up for that."

Ms Aslam has since been able to return home to her husband, son, and parents while continuing her recovery.

While at Askham Rehab, she worked on her upper limb and lower limb strength through weight-based therapy until she could walk and climb stairs comfortably.

Her prolonged time in intensive care caused her to suffer from polyneuropathy - where peripheral nerves throughout the body simultaneously malfunction, which left her unable to move her feet.

"It's the hardest thing I've had to overcome in my life," Ms Aslam said.

"Everything just came at me at once, emotionally, mentally and physically."

Ms Aslam said she briefly saw her son after she gave birth via Caesarean, however it is a "dream come true" to now be able to see him every day.

"The challenging part was me knowing that I have a baby and I'm a first-time mum - I planned everything, his clothes, his pram... mentally that was the challenging part for me.

"It's a dream come true (to see him every day)... I missed out on a big chunk of six months of his life, but I've been making up for that now."

Sara Neaves, clinical lead and outpatients service manager at the rehab centre, said: "When Hajrah arrived at Askham, we really had to start at the basics.

"The key to Hajrah's amazing progression was her determination, motivation and hard work.

"Due to all these incredible traits, Hajrah was able to leave us much sooner than anyone had initially expected.

"Considering the condition she was in when she arrived, an 11-week discharge is an incredible feat."

Ms Aslam, who has since had one of two COVID-19 vaccination doses, said: "I can now walk up and down the stairs slowly and safely, which is amazing.

"Askham has given me my life back... I'm a mum again and that's all down to their hard work."

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