A baby girl has been born two days after her mother collapsed and died from a brain haemorrhage.
Jayne Soliman had been declared brain-dead but doctors kept her heart beating long enough for her daughter Aya Jayne to be delivered by caesarean section.
Jayne Soliman, 41, was 25 weeks pregnant with her first child when she was declared clinically dead, but doctors kept her heart beating until they had delivered her daughter, Aya Jayne, by caesarean section.
After Aya Jayne was born, doctors put her on her mother’s shoulder so they could have a precious moment together before Mrs Soliman’s life support machine was turned off and her 2lbs 1oz baby taken into intensive care, where she is said to be doing well. Friends said Mrs Soliman, a former British ice skating champion, had been ecstatic when she fell pregnant and “wanted to be a mum more than anything else”.
Her close friend Lucine Phillips, 38, who was present at the birth last Friday, said: “Aya was born kicking and wriggling and it’s hard to describe the emotions I was going through when I saw her – it was a mixture of tragedy, elation and relief.
“A midwife picked Aya up and put her little face up to Jayne’s – if Jayne had been awake she would have had eye contact with her daughter.
“Everyone in the room was elated at the birth, but we also had to say goodbye to Jayne. Her husband Mahmoud said goodbye on his own because he wanted to be the last person to see her.
“He sat with her for a while and then he was told he could go and see his daughter.
“Mahmoud was allowed to touch Aya and seeing her tiny fingers close in on his was just indescribable. He knows he has to go on for Aya and that she will help him get up every morning.”
Mrs Soliman, of Bracknell, Berks., went to bed complaining of a headache last Wednesday, and collapsed shortly afterwards. She was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford but was declared brain-dead at 8pm the same evening. Doctors discovered that Mrs Soliman had been suffering from an undiagnosed brain tumour which had caused a major blood vessel to burst.
Consultants told her husband there was a good chance they could save the baby’s life if they could keep Mrs Soliman’s heart beating, and she was given large doses of steroids to help the baby’s lungs develop before the caesarean section was carried out on Friday.
Mrs Soliman, who worked as an instructor at the Bracknell Ice Rink, was the British Free Skating champion in 1989 and the former world number seven in the sport.
David Phillips, 48, a fellow skater and close friend, said: “To Jayne, becoming a mother was the best thing in the world that could have happened to her.
“She was so happy, she had always wanted to be a mum more than anything else. She lived to have a baby girl – that was the one thing she wanted in her life.
“She was an amazing woman. Anyone who met her knew they had a friend for life who would always be there for them. I think her heart hung on just long enough to see her new baby into the world.”
Mr Phillips said Aya Jayne, who has been transferred to the intensive care unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, was “doing brilliantly”.
Speaking about Mr Soliman, Mr Phillips said: “He has had the best and the worst day of his life within such a short space of time.
“It’s just something you can’t conceive – turning off your wife’s life support machine and then going to see your new born daughter.”