On the 30th August, just a week after her baby shower, Arti Solanki woke up with severe pains and realised she was bleeding.

Arti was rushed into hospital at just 31 weeks pregnant and was separated from her husband who was not allowed inside due to COVID restrictions. Her daughter was born without a heartbeat, but thankfully was revived by staff before being transferred to the Neonatal Unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

Arti remembers feeling so lost and helpless, “I kept thinking, what have I done wrong, why had this happened to me? I would call my mum from the hospital every day in floods of tears, she was my absolute rock.”

In October, while Arti’s daughter was still in a ventilator in hospital, her mum Hansaben started to feel unwell. As her symptoms got worse, 54- year-old Hansaben was advised to get a COVID test which came back positive.

 Arti and her husband lived in the same household as Hansaben and also contracted the virus, so had to self-isolate and couldn’t visit their baby girl in hospital for two weeks.

Unfortunately, Hansaben had some underlying health conditions and her condition deteriorated rapidly at home.

Arti remembers one morning her father frantically calling out for her and she knew something was seriously wrong, “When mum woke up that morning, she was in a really bad way she was gasping for breath and her oxygen level was only 50%. Mum was such a strong-minded woman, and I genuinely believed she would pull through. I never thought this would be the last time I would get to see her and hold her hand.”

Hansaben was taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she was put on a ventilator and after 19 days in hospital, she sadly passed away on the 30th October.

Meanwhile, Arti’s little girl was still fighting for her life. In late November, Arti was told her daughter needed to be taken off the ventilator to see if she was strong enough to breathe on her own.

Sadly, Arti’s little girl passed away on the 22nd November after spending several months on the neonatal unit. Despite going through the heartbreak of losing her mum and daughter, Arti was determined to do something to help other families with loved ones in hospital.

Arti opened a MuchLoved page to remember her mum and daughter, raising funds for Leeds Hospitals Charity.

MuchLoved is an online tribute site where people can set up a free memorial page to remember someone special and raise funds for charities in their memory.

Arti says, “I wanted to do whatever I could to make a difference and create a legacy for my mum and my little girl. The staff on the wards became like a family to me, and I felt so blessed to have our wonderful NHS caring for them.”

You can donate to Arti’s MuchLoved page here https://hansabenbipinbhai-parmar.muchloved.com/

Leeds Hospitals Charity is encouraging those who have recently lost a friend or family member to set up a MuchLoved page to celebrate their lives in a positive way and raise funds to support their local NHS hospitals.

Set up your own page here - https://leedshospitals.muchloved.org/

The Leeds Centre for Newborn Care is one of the largest neonatal services in the UK, providing specialist care to around 1,700 babies each year, many of whom need intensive care or surgery. 

Donations to Leeds Hospitals Charity have helped fund life-saving equipment, environmental improvements and projects to support parents and their babies well-being.