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Hospital staff saved my life and our unborn twins, says Belfast mum

 

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Danielle Martin with Parker (3) and Jaiden (9)

Danielle Martin with Parker (3) and Jaiden (9)

Danielle Martin with Parker (3), Jaiden (9) and two-year-old Joshua

Danielle Martin with Parker (3), Jaiden (9) and two-year-old Joshua

Danielle Martin with Parker (3), Jaiden (9), two-year-old and partner Bryan

Danielle Martin with Parker (3), Jaiden (9), two-year-old and partner Bryan

Danielle Martin with Parker (3) and Jaiden (9)

A pregnant woman put into an induced coma due to the coronavirus - who woke up to discover she is expecting twins - said she owes her recovery to the "amazing" hospital staff who cared for her.

 

Danielle Martin (32) from the Shankill area was admitted to Belfast City Hospital over two weeks ago with a suspected case of severe pneumonia.

However, she was subsequently diagnosed with Covid-19 and as her condition worsened, her partner, 32-year-old Bryan Green, was informed it was unlikely their unborn baby would survive.

At the time the couple, who are engaged and have three sons together - Joshua (2), three-year-old Parker and Jaiden (9) - did not know they were having twins.

Bryan had previously told the Belfast Telegraph his family was plunged into a nightmare when paramedics arrived at their home to assess his very ill pregnant fiancee.

At the time the entire family had been in self-isolation due to Danielle displaying symptoms.

He said their three boys were left "absolutely heartbroken" as they watched their mother being transported into an ambulance.

His ordeal worsened when he learned Danielle's oxygen levels dipped to a dangerous point, prompting medics to put her into the coma.

The Belfast man revealed that he received daily updates on Danielle's progress in intensive care as he continued to care for their family.

Now discharged from hospital, Danielle said she is "over the moon" to be back home with Bryan and their boys, who were allowed to wait outside the hospital in their vehicle to pick her up in accordance with hospital social-distancing guidelines.

"The wee souls ... their faces were priceless. They were shouting: 'That's my mummy, that's my mummy.' I was so glad to get home to them. It's great to be home," she explained.

The Shankill woman said she is still coming to terms with how the outcome could have been very different, recalling that she was left "terrified" when she was told by medical staff that she had Covid-19.

"I'm only now starting to realise that I was in a coma for 10 days and how close I was to not being here today," she said.

"I thought I was awake straight after [being in the hospital theatre] but to learn that it was 10 days later is terrifying."

She continued: "It was all a daze when I came round, as it was a very busy night in the ICU and the staff were working 12-plus hours a day.

"The consultants were constantly on the go dealing with emergencies coming in."

Danielle said the amazing care she received continued when she was well enough to move out of intensive care to another ward.

"When I was then moved up onto the ward, I was treated like a queen. The staff were amazing, again they were working 12-hour shifts and were constantly on their feet," she recalled.

Her recovery was aided even further when she discovered to her delight that not only was her unborn child healthy, but she was pregnant with twins.

"The consultant came round from the gynaecological department and he introduced himself, and he said: 'I'm going to scan you, as I've seen two heartbeats. Did you know you were having twins?' And I said no. That's when he showed me the babies' heartbeats​," she said.

"I was so shocked. I couldn't believe it. It was very hard to get my head around it, even still now."

Then Danielle faced an agonising wait to tell Bryan the news that their family was to expand larger than what they had initially anticipated.

"I couldn't get speaking to him for a day or two as my mobile was dead and my belongings were 'contaminated'," she continued. 

"So, when I finally got to speak to him, I told him and he was laughing and said 'Aye right, Danielle' and I said: 'No Bryan, I'm being really serious.' That's when he knew that I wasn't messing about."

Bryan, who works in security, has said that learning in a phone call from Danielle that she and the unborn babies are healthy was the "best news" he could ever receive.​

Currently around four months pregnant, Danielle revealed she is due to have another scan at the end of this month, which is expected to reveal her due date.

She stressed that she owes everything to the medical and hospital staff who looked after her during her stay in hospital.

"I have to say a massive thank-you to them. They are completely amazing people," she insisted.

"They're rushed off their feet and they still just carry on with a smile on their faces."

Danielle also has a message to those who may be fed up with the Covid-19 movement restrictions, urging the public not to give in to complacency.

​"I was perfectly healthy. I had just found out I was pregnant. So, please don't think it won't happen to you," she pleaded. 

She is also thankful to her neighbours and local community who reached out and have helped them with food during her hospital stay.

The couple now want to show their appreciation to the hospital staff and are currently planning to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the health service.

Danielle also said she was sharing what had happened to her to highlight the "amazing" level of care she and her unborn babies received at Belfast City Hospital.

"Anything to give the staff the credit they're due. They're unbelievable," she added.

Belfast Telegraph