By Mollie Mansfield
A pregnant woman who dropped down dead at six months’ pregnant amazingly became a mum AFTER her death – when medics performed an emergency caesarean on her living room floor to save her baby girl.
Mum-to-be Emma Olubayo, 41, collapsed at home in November 2017 after suffering from an undetected heart defect which caused her heart to stop.
But when paramedics spent an hour failing to resuscitate Emma, they decided to deliver her child on her living room floor, in Leicester, East Mids, by carrying out an emergency caesarean.
Against all the odds and being ten weeks premature, their baby daughter, Aretha, survived.
Now her husband, Emmanuel, 34, is raising their eight week old baby girl Aretha, on his own.
Emmanuel, who is self-employed, said: “The evening Emma died she was gasping for breath but we had no idea what was wrong.
“After paramedics arrived and failed to restart her heart, the only option to save our baby was to deliver in our living room.
“It was a surreal moment, our baby laid on the sofa behind me, whilst the love of my life was dying on the living room floor.
“Emma had battled to stay alive – I remember the way she looked at me, she was scared but she was fighting for Aretha.
“But unfortunately that wasn’t the case, so now I’m fighting to make sure that Aretha has the best life and always remembers her mother.
“It’s crazy how alike Aretha is to her mother, I see Emma in her every day, which does sometimes make it harder.”
Emma and Emmanuel first met in 2016 on a dating website, and were married 10 months later.
However Emma passed away a mere eight months after their wedding, leaving behind her new husband and the baby girl she had always dreamed of having.
Emmanuel added: “We had a lot of similarities – especially in our personality, religion and optimism – we immediately clicked and were meant to be.
“Almost immediately after we were married we found out that we were pregnant and she was over the moon to be a mum.
“She couldn’t believe that she was having a child of her own, she loves children and it was always her dream to have one of her own.
“Although the pain of her being gone is indescribable, at least I have Aretha and Emma’s wish of having her own child has come true.”
After Emma’s death she was diagnosed with a small, undetected heart defect which meant she could have fallen ill at any time.
However Emmanuel claims it is likely to have been the pressure of pregnancy that caused her heart to stop on Sunday afternoon in late November last year.
He added: “We had spent the morning together watching TV in bed, but then just hours later when we had a friend round she was suddenly gasping for breath in the living room.
“The paramedics were called and they delivered Aretha in our living room before rushing her to hospital in a police car.
“Aretha also stopped breathing at one point but a paramedic managed to save her by placing her on his chest and having skin on skin contact.
“They also worked incredibly hard on trying to revive Emma for over an hour but there wasn’t anything that could be done to save her.
“While this was happening I was all over the place like a madman, but I kept on talking to her, holding her head and kissing her.
“The last thing I remember her saying to me was ‘quick cuddle,’ so I made sure I was cuddling her.
“Aretha has done incredibly well and was a fighter like her mummy, and after spending six weeks at hospital has finally come home.”
Friends have set up a donations page in memory of Emma’s life, and all funds will go towards Emmanuel and Aretha: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/clair-ripley