“Mary has been a blessing to everyone she has met”

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On the morning of March 12, Mary Boateng left her last night shift on general duty at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Thirty-four weeks pregnant, she was going home to start her maternity leave. She had back problems, so she was allowed to leave sick two weeks earlier. Less than a month later, she would be back in the hospital not to show her new baby girl to her colleagues, but to fight for her life.

While Mary was preparing for her second baby home with her husband, Ernest, and her three-year-old son AJ, she began to experience symptoms of coronavirus. On April 5, she returned to the hospital where she worked as a general nurse for five years, and underwent a swab test which confirmed that she was infected. She was admitted on April 7 and it is understood that a decision was made quickly to perform an emergency cesarean. She died on Easter Sunday and the baby girl who had been safely delivered was called Mary, for the mother she would never meet.

28-year-old in good health with no previous health problems, Mary is one of the deaths from coronaviruses that made the country shiver and raised serious questions about the safety of pregnant women working on the front lines of the crisis.

Just four days after Mary left on maternity leave, the government has issued directives that pregnant women should be listed as vulnerable workers and stop playing roles with patients after reaching 28 weeks. Mary is believed to be six weeks away from her maternity leave, although Luton and Dunstable at the time had only a few cases of Covid, and sources claim that she had had no direct contact with them. The hospital insists that it followed directions throughout.

“It is very likely,” said a hospital source, “that she contracted the disease in the community, not the hospital.”

A source told The Sun that Mary’s father died of suspected virus the day after his daughter was admitted to hospital.

In the modest house a stone’s throw from the hospital where Marie worked and died, the curtains are drawn. Her husband, 30, an aspiring lawyer who has worked in health care himself, comes to the window. “I can’t speak,” said Ernest softly. “I am in isolation. “

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