An inquest has began in the UK over the death of a pregnant nurse, originally from Ghana, after her family raised concerns.
Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong died on April 12 having been admitted to Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, where she worked.
She suffered from shortness of breath.
According to the 28-year-old’s partner Ernest Boateng, she was initially discharged from the hospital on April 5 before being re-admitted two days later with coronavirus symptoms, at 35 weeks pregnant.
A caesarean section was performed on Mary before she was transferred to the intensive care unit where she died.
Her death was a double blow to her family as her father also died of the same disease two weeks before.
The preliminary cause of death was given as pneumonia and Covid-19.
Her partner, Mr. Boateng is challenging the hospital’s decision to discharge her on April 5, and the conditions at her work while she was pregnant.
Emma Whitting, senior coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton, told lawyers representing Ms. Agyapong’s family, the hospital trust, and the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch that witnesses including senior members of the discharge team and the mother of two’s line manager or equivalent were likely to be required to give evidence.
The coroner adjourned the hearing until a further pre-inquest review in January, with the inquest continuing over three to four days in March.
Earlier, she told Mr. Boateng, who watched on video link: ‘I want to start by expressing my condolences for the loss of Mary.
‘I have seen pictures of her and read a little bit about her in the press, and I can only imagine what a hole she’s left in your life and the lives of your family members and her colleagues.’
Mr. Boateng insists his partner should not have been working at the hospital at the start of the pandemic as she had entered the third trimester.
But the hospital management defended their action, arguing it did not have any coronavirus patients before she took maternity leave.
David Carter, chief executive of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, described Ms Agyapong as ‘a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust’.
Suzanne White, representing Mr Boateng as head of clinical negligence at legal firm Leigh Day, said: ‘Our client, Ernest Boateng, has lost his partner, and two small children have lost their mother.
‘Hopefully, any pressures that led to that working situation will be made clear, and it will be fully understood if they had any bearing on Mary’s death.’
The 28-year-old, who was 35 weeks pregnant when she tested positive for Covid-19, underwent an emergency caesarean to save her daughter, also named Mary (pictured)
Following Mary’s death, well-wishers rallied support for her two children she had left behind.
A crowdfunding campaign was created on GoFundMe for them where almost £200,000 was raised.