A grieving husband is looking for answers after his wife died three days after giving birth to their first child.
Ayesha Riaz, 24, was starting a life as a mother with her new family in Ontario, Canada when she fell ill last month.
Baby Eesa Ali Ahmad was perfectly healthy but just hours after his birth, Mrs Riaz began to complain of a pain in her tailbone and then started to feel extremely hot.
A recent University of Toronto graduate, Mrs Riaz began showing signs of jaundice, prompting her to stay overnight in hospital with her baby. But by the next morning, she wasn't feeling any better.
While her husband, Saleem, ducked into his office to close up some files, Mrs Riaz texted him saying she had headaches and was feeling short of breath.
“I kept all those texts,” he told CTVNews.ca.
Mr Riaz alleges the hospital nurses told his wife her complaints were likely due to the usual pains of childbirth. However by the following day, Mr Riaz says his wife’s heart rate had gone up, but he says no one ordered any tests.
He says his wife was told to “walk it off,” by hospital staff or to do breathing exercises to help with her shortness of breath.
Mrs Riaz's request for oxygen that night was allegedly ignored by staff at the hospital and she was told a doctor would see her in the morning. By the time someone came to her in the morning she had spiked a fever and was given oxygen at about 5am. She was burning up.
"I have never felt someone so warm," Mr Riaz said.
At about 10am blood tests were ordered by a doctor but by noon doctors had become concerned about her condition and she was transferred to the intensive care unit where they began a course of antibiotics.
“That’s when they said to me, ‘We’re treating this as Group A Strep.’ And I said Group A Strep? What’s that?" Mr Riaz said.
While most cases of Group A streptococcus (GAS) cause only mild skin or throat infections, some rare strains can cause severe illness, including Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome.
While attempting to sedate and intubate Riaz to allow her to breathe better the young mother went into cardiac arrest. After doctors called time on their attempts to revive her, Mr Riaz jumped onto the table to continue the CPR himself, desperate to bring his wife back.
“I was crying. I kept telling the doctor, ‘I told you not to do this! I told you not to do this!’ Eventually the doctor said, ‘She’s not coming back.’ And I lost it,” he said. Mrs Riaz died on February 10.
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Her family have started a Go Fund Me page to help raised funds for the legal action they're now taking against the hospital.
"Ayesha had the most contagious giggles, was never too busy to check-in on friends and family, and always went out of her way to help everyone in even the most mundane things," they wrote on the page. "In every interaction she had with people, she left a memorable feeling in their hearts. Ayesha loved life."
The hospital would not comment on Mr Riaz's claims but confirmed that two other patients at the hospital also became ill with Group A Strep at the same time as Mrs Riaz.
"Ayesha's family are currently seeking legal action to get answers and justice. Although we will never be able to bring Ayesha back, the family wants to ensure that this never happens to anyone ever again," the Go Fund Me page says.
"We estimate that the cost of legal action will be in the hundreds of thousands ($100,000+) and we are seeking your support in the form of donations to support the family in their pursuit. Our initial goal is to raise $25,000.
The family will also be donating 10 per cent of the funds raised towards building water well sin communities across Pakistan, one of Mrs Riaz's passion projects.