Unvaccinated mum, 30, dies from COVID two months after giving birth to son

·4-min read
Natalie Forshaw, 30, died on Boxing day after testing positive for COVID while pregnant. (Reach)
Natalie Forshaw, 30, died on Boxing day after testing positive for COVID while pregnant. (Reach)

An unvaccinated mum has died from COVID two months after giving birth to her first child.

Natalie Forshaw, 30, died on Boxing day after testing positive for COVID while pregnant after choosing not to have any vaccinations because she was expecting.

Natalie’s son, Caleb, had been delivered by an emergency C-section at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester on 3 November but she was forced to remain in hospital after being diagnosed with COVID.

She was treated in the intensive care unit of Manchester Royal Infirmary but died in the early hours of 26 December.

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Natalie’s son, Caleb, was delivered by an emergency C-section. (Reach)
Natalie’s son, Caleb, was delivered by an emergency C-section. (Reach)

Natalie, a beautician and hairdresser from Burnage, Greater Manchester, had shown signs of improvement in mid-December which had given her family hope.

Her mother, Bernie Wilton, said: "Natalie was at home when she first became poorly.

"Because she was pregnant we took her to see a doctor and her oxygen levels were very, very low. She was getting bad pains in her chest.

"She went to hospital and the baby was delivered but Natalie was transferred to intensive care.

"She was not able to see Caleb for a week."

Just days after giving birth, Natalie was put in a drug-induced coma as part of her treatment. 

But in mid-November, a blood clot was discovered inside her heart.

At the end of the month, the clot broke up and went to her lungs leaving her in a critical condition.

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Natalie's mother and Caleb's father, Jay Hurst, were only allowed up to 15 minutes a day at her bedside in the ICU.

By 6 December, her condition had worsened and days later her family was told there was nothing more than could be done.

Less than a week afterwards, there were some signs of improvement in the young mother.

At the time, her mum wrote on social media: "I was sat with her and she started to blink, she is starting to come round... and when I spoke about baby Caleb she cried... all the nurses were clapping and so happy for her... she is so looked after... she is fighting."

Medics were "amazed" at Natalie's condition, and her mum added she was being called "the ICU celebrity" as so many nurses and doctors were rooting for her.

But on 20 December, Natalie suffered a major setback when her heart failed and she had to be fully sedated again.

Bernie posted on Boxing Day that Natalie had lost her fight and the next day added: "Today, my heart broke into many pieces.

"I don't think it will ever mend.

"I am going to miss your daft ways, the fact that you text me 8,400,000 times a day even if it was just to say love you mammy.

"We had an amazing bond, not only mother and daughter but best of friends."

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 15:  A general view of St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, on July 15, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
She died at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. (Getty)

Bernie, and Natalie's father, Nigel Forshaw, and the couple's son, Natalie's brother, Scott, have been left devastated by the loss.

Bernie said: "She was absolutely beautiful and would brighten up everyone's day. There are thousands of people who loved her.

"The nursing staff and doctors at both hospitals were amazing and the family would like to thank them for all their care.

"They were wonderful and went above and beyond for Natalie.

"Caleb weighed 6lb 12 ounces and is perfect."

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Initially, pregnant women were excluded from the vaccine rollout, but advice was changed in April 2021 after it was ruled to be safe. 

Earlier this month, new data showed that 34 women died in the UK after acquiring COVID while pregnant.

In total, four newborn babies also died where medics said the reason was the virus.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said pregnant women should be regarded as a clinical risk group for COVID-19 and be given vaccines quickly.

An appeal set up to help Natalie's family, Caleb, and Jay has raised thousands of pounds.

Watch: Do coronavirus vaccines affect fertility?

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