How my girlfriend ignored my text in the labour room, only to find her dead after birthing my daughter – New dad

A heartbroken dad has narrated how he was so devastated after his girlfriend stopped replying his texts while in labour room because she has died.

Samantha Thomas, 21, texted partner Patrick Ratcliffe her hospital stay before giving birth to their first daughter, but his final message “I love you Sammy” never received a reply.

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Patrick, 22, from Stoke-on-Trent, later learned his beloved partner had died, when her heart stopped during an emergency C-section.

He had been sent home from the hospital as his girlfriend wasn’t in active labour when she arrived, as those are the current coronavirus rules.

Samantha never got to hold her daughter, Zara-Leigh, who was born healthy and is now being raised by devoted dad Patrick, 22.

In an exclusive interview, Patrick said: “Sammy and I had been texting each other all night, after she was taken into hospital.

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“I messaged to tell her I had changed the bed ready for her coming home and that I would take her some food in.

“She was texting back, but then she never replied to my final message. I could never in a million years have dreamed that she had died.

“I was in total shock when I got to the hospital and they said she had already passed. She was a healthy young woman.

“Zara’s birthday will always be the same date as Sammy’s death.

“It breaks my heart that she won’t be here to raise our child, but I intend to do her memory proud.

“Sammy chose the name Zara-Leigh before she died.

“I have added in Samantha as a middle name, as a tribute to the mummy she will never know.”

It breaks my heart that Sammy won’t be here to raise our child, but I intend to do her memory proud

Patrick and Sammy met at work last summer.

Patrick said: “We both worked at the Iceland warehouse; I was her trainer, and I fell for her straightaway.

“We got serious really quickly and moved in together within a month. Neither of us were big on partying or drinking, we just loved being together, nesting.

“Sammy was very close to her family, as I am. We had the same priorities in life. She was full of smiles.”

Sammy fell pregnant in September last year. Patrick said: “We did the test together, and though it was a big surprise, we were thrilled.

“We knew we’d be fine, because we were so happy together.

“We knew our relationship was for keeps, we’d talked about marriage and the future together.”

The pregnancy went well, Sammy had no health problems and their baby was due April 29.

Patrick said: “We had a gender reveal party and Sammy chose the name Zara-Leigh. We just couldn’t wait.

“Sammy was full of confidence, but I was the worrier, but for absolutely no reason.”

Four weeks before the tragedy, Sammy’s midwife said that the baby hadn’t grown and referred her for a scan, which revealed no problems.

At her next appointment, her blood pressure was high and she was again referred to hospital with suspected pre-eclampsia.

She was prescribed medication and allowed home. But 48 hours later she woke in the middle of the night, screaming in pain.

Patrick said: “I was panic stricken. She was complaining of chest pain.”

I’d been texting her just an hour earlier and it struck me as odd that she didn’t reply to my last text. But now I knew why

Sammy was rushed to hospital where medics took the decision to perform a C-section to save her unborn baby.

Patrick said: “At first, she was taken to A&E and later transferred to the maternity unit.

“I wasn’t allowed in and was told to go home, because Sammy wasn’t in labour and those are the current coronavirus rules.

“I was texting Sammy and she was in pain, but it didn’t for a moment seem life-threatening.

“I got home and did some housework and I was in touch with Sammy by text all the time.

“But then a nurse called me and said Sammy had deteriorated.”

Patrick raced back to the hospital, where he learned that his daughter had been delivered safely – but that Sammy had not made it.

Patrick said: “I had to call Sammy’s mum, Bev and her step-dad Pete. I was in an absolute state.

“They said Sammy’s heart had stopped and they couldn’t get it going again.

I was told Zara was very lucky to have survived. I just couldn’t believe it. Sammy was a perfectly healthy young woman

“I was told Zara was very lucky to have survived. I just couldn’t believe it. Sammy was a perfectly healthy young woman.

“I’d been texting her just an hour earlier and it struck me as odd that she didn’t reply to my last text. But now I knew why.

“Our baby daughter was in an incubator, just as a precaution. But I was allowed to see her and she was beautiful – the image of her mummy.”

Patrick moved in with his own parents, along with baby Zara, after her release from hospital.

He said: “Both families are being so supportive. I live five minutes away from Sammy’s folks and they are helping me too.

“But I know it’s down to me. I have to make Sammy proud.

“I’ve added Samantha as Zara’s middle name, as a tribute. I can see Sammy in her every day.

“It breaks my heart but at the same time, it’s a big comfort to know she lives on.

As our daughter grows up, I will have to explain that the date of her mummy’s death, April 2, is also her birthday.

“The day will forever be bittersweet.”

Doctors found Sammy had suffered a hemothorax haemorrhage and aortic dissection. The hospital is carrying out an investigation into her death.

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