BEFORE welcoming her son Huzayfah earlier this year, Hajrah Aslam was nervous about giving birth like any other first-time mum.
Although she’d had a perfectly healthy pregnancy for the first two trimesters, the 28-year-old’s world was turned upside down when she got coronavirus at 35 weeks.
The Peterborough mum had to undergo a C-section to ensure her son’s healthy arrival into the world.
But on the same night she gave birth, Hajrah was put into a medically-induced coma to relieve her lungs after Covid-19 caused her oxygen levels to drop significantly.
After her six-week ordeal in a coma, Hajrah was taken to Askham Rehab in April, a specialist neuro-rehab community near Doddington, Cambridgeshire, to begin her recovery – a journey she describes as the hardest thing she’s ever had to overcome in her life.
The mum said: “All I could see was my baby boy’s face. That was the end goal.
“I kept on saying his name; even when I was in excruciating pain, I kept on going and going.”
The prolonged time spent in intensive care had caused Hajrah to suffer from polyneuropathy – the simultaneous malfunction of peripheral nerves throughout the body.
As well as being left practically bedbound, the new mum is unable to move her feet.
On top of this, she had a grade 4 pressure ulcer across the whole width of her back.
When she arrived, the team at Askham Rehab developed a personalized plan for Hajrah.
Sara Neaves, Clinical Lead and Outpatients Service Manager at Askham Rehab, said: “When Hajrah arrived at Askham, we really had to start at the basics.
“This included hands-on therapy, both from the physiotherapy team and the occupational therapy team, to try and work on the upper limb and lower limb strength, as well as functional activities.”
Using Tyromotion’s OMEGO Plus, a multifunctional chair enabling specific training of functional therapy goals, Hajrah was able to challenge her lower limbs in strength, movement, accuracy, and coordination in a safe and secure position.
Reflecting on her time at Askham, Hajrah said: “It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome in my life. Everything just came at me at once, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
“It’s been a really tough journey. When you say 11 weeks aloud, it seems crazy. But, it’s a concise amount of time, and I’ve done it. It feels like I’ve won something. More importantly, I’ve got my life back.”
And now she’s made a recovery; the mum is determined to make up for a lost time.
All I could see was my baby boy’s face. That was the end goal. I kept on saying his name, even when I was in excruciating pain, I kept on going and going.
She added: “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.”
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