A grief-stricken family have shared their heartache after a 21-year-old first-time mum’s baby had to be delivered by an emergency cesarean following her sudden death.
Samantha Thomas – who was heavily pregnant – was taken to hospital with chest pains in the early hours of the morning.
But her condition rapidly deteriorated and medics took the decision to perform a C-section to save her unborn baby.
Now her loved-ones have launched a fund-raising page to help pay for her funeral.
And a second appeal has raised thousands of pounds to support Zara as she grows up.
Close friend Andi Wall, who was speaking on behalf of Samantha’s family, said: “She had some chest pains in the early hours and passed away at just after 7am.
“She wasn’t in labour at the time but they operated to save her baby. They did an emergency cesarean. She was nearly full-term.
“She was there on her own. The family don’t really know what happened. They are shocked, shaken and bewildered. If they had answers it might help. All we know is that it wasn’t Covid.”
Andi added: “Sam was a lovely bubbly young woman. She was very funny and caring.
“She was so excited to meet her baby. It’s just such a shock.
“Little Zara is doing fine, she’s perfect like her mummy and she will grow up knowing how much she was loved.
“There will only be 10 people at her funeral which is heart-breaking.”
Following the tragedy, Andi launched a JustGiving page to help Samantha’s family give her the send-off she deserves.
More than £1,100 has now been donated so far towards a £4,000 target.
Urging people to give generously, Andi said: “Sammy Thomas sadly lost her life giving birth to her beautiful baby daughter Zara, who she never got to meet, on April 2.
“We are asking for donations to help towards the cost of Sammy’s funeral, to give her a send off she so very much deserves.
“Bev and family are struggling and really do need a little financial help.
“Sammy brought such life, fun and laughter to so many people, her passing is such a shock, she should still be here to raise her daughter.
“Please help Bev and her family to say ‘fly high’ to their beautiful girl.”
Nearly £9,000 has been pledged to support little Zara for a separate appeal set up friends.
This is unconnected to Samantha’s family who are specifically asking for help with funeral costs.
The GoFundMe page reads: “This is to raise money for baby Zara and Patrick Ratcliffe. Zara’s mother Samantha Thomas sadly passed away while bringing a beautiful life into this world.
“Me and many others knew Sam and she would always bring joy and laughter to all of us.
“We are asking for donations to the family to financially support these two at this time.”
To donate to the funeral, click here.