A heartbroken husband has described how, in the space of 15 hours, he went from expecting the birth of his daughter with a wife he cherished to being a childless widower after the death of the love of his life just moments before the birth of their first child.
In a snapshot taken at her unexpected baby shower on July 29 this year in Newark, blonde Heidi Renton, 31, appears the picture of health and happiness just five days before her untimely demise.
The therapeutic radiographer from Nottingham University Hospital is holding her nine-month-pregnant bulge while sporting a pink sash that reads, “Mummy-to-be.” Her smile is as big as her bump.
Craig, an engineer at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, remembered, “She had a terrific day.”
“The shower was planned by Susan, her mother, and Chrissy, a cousin.
You couldn’t get beyond Heidi for very long. She was surprised by this surprise even though she anticipated them.
Craig grinned and said, “They’d painted patterns on small baby clothes.” There was tea, pastries, and nonstop baby babbling. It was a really feminine day.
However, on Friday, August 4, just a few days later, Heidi was feeling under the weather when Craig got home from work around noon.
He said, “She said she felt sick and her chest hurt. “We called the GP, and they advised us to travel to the hospital because she was pregnant.
“We speculated that it might be the unborn child. It was conceivable because the deadline was August 12. We were equally anxious and enthusiastic. It was our first and most anticipated child.
Around 20 miles from their Newark home, in his Vauxhall Insignia, Craig and Heidi piled into the car and drove to Kings Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.
A little cottage hospital in Newark that they adored housed Heidi’s scans and midwifery appointments, but it lacked a delivery unit.
Then, after a little period of time, Heidi passed out.
I was appalled, Craig recounted. “I stopped on the side of the road right away. I was very relieved when she briefly woke up.
However, Heidi had a seizure out of the blue, and he frantically dialed 999 while parked on the roadside and felt powerless and distraught.
He remarked, “She began to fit and her lips turned blue, as though she were being starved of oxygen.” “I was appalled. A woman who just so happened to be a nurse pulled over while I waited for an ambulance.
She began checking her breathing and checked her pulse.
When they were transported by emergency ambulance to King’s Mill, Craig held his wife’s hand as she lay on the ground before they were taken immediately to the hospital’s resuscitation department.
Craig was anxiously waiting in a family room.
He said, “I walked the floors.” How was it possible that she was in a hospital bed when just hours earlier I had bid farewell to her?
The medical staff eventually left the room where Heidi was being treated after 10 minutes, which he observed.
He stated, “They had tears running down their faces.” “One joined me in my seat and said something that I’ll never forget.
“‘I’m sorry your wife passed away,’
But later, he added…
Are you interested in meeting your baby girl?
As another medical team worked to revive his wife, Craig was too overwhelmed by the news to be ready to greet his daughter who had been delivered through emergency Caesarean. Because of her health, Heidi had not yet given birth.
Instead, he said, “I went directly to see Heidi.” As she lay in the hospital bed, she appeared flawless. When I told her I loved her and was proud of her as a mother, I simply started crying.
“I then had to call her parents and break the news that their daughter had passed away and that they now had a granddaughter.
Naturally, they were perplexed. We were all.
Craig went to his wife as his family traveled from their different homes in Cambridge and Birmingham.
Doctors had performed scans on my daughter while I had been with Heidi, and the results were negative, he said. She displayed no mental activity.
Although it hasn’t been proven, it’s thought that Heidi had been oxygen-deprived when she was experiencing a seizure.
“They said she would pass away.
“What is the sense of seeing her, hugging her, and loving her if she is going to pass away?” I pondered.
But three hours after she was born, Craig made the decision to meet his daughter with the support of his family.
He had to make a life-changing decision as soon as the adorable 8lb 2oz baby grabbed his heart.
She was on a ventilator for three hours before I decided to switch it off, he claimed. At 15 hours old, she passed away quietly in my arms.
Despite having only spent 15 hours with her, I developed a deep love for her.
She and Heidi were and will always be my true loves.
Heidi gave Craig her favorite name just before she passed away; she was unaware that she was having a daughter.
He declared, “Isabella was number one.” So, we gave her that name, and it was appropriate for her.
“We clothed her in a Mamas & Papas baby-grow that Heidi had chosen as her going-home costume before burying her, and I gave her a brief bath and took a lock of her hair.
“I received help from an organization called 4Louis, which assists parents who have lost a child create memory boxes.”
Craig, who does not criticize the hospital, must now deal with life without his wife and daughter, who were cremated together on August 29. Craig is unsure of Heidi’s cause of death.
He declared, “I think natural causes were involved.” “An investigation is still ongoing. As this was a highly unusual circumstance and it’s probable Isabella would have survived if it weren’t for Heidi’s seizure, I don’t want to scare off future expectant mothers.
She was fine during the scans and visits. She was healthy; we could see her heartbeat. Heidi was quite happy.
“Having everything you loved and dreamed of suddenly taken away is incredibly difficult.
It only took 15 hours for Heidi to pass away, for Isabella to be born, and for us to lose her as well.
“I spent only 15 hours as a father.”
Craig and Heidi first crossed paths nine years ago while they were both attending Sheffield Hallam University. Craig instantly fell in love with Heidi when he spotted her laughing with friends in a club.
However, as a fourth-year student, she would be returning the following day to her Birmingham-based parents.
We had a few years of a long-distance romance while I was pursuing a five-year course, he recalled. We frequently exchanged seats on trains, but I always felt it was worthwhile.
The couple moved in together in Birmingham once he received his degree.
He grinned and said, “We bought Heidi’s nan’s old house and spent two years fixing it up. It was unpleasant and demanding, but we liked it.
Craig worked as an RAF engineer in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, at this time, while Heidi worked as a therapy radiographer in Birmingham. They frequently went out on the town and took skiing vacations together.
Then, in 2012, after he had proposed, he turned Heidi’s surprise birthday celebration into an engagement party.
He laughed, “I recall Heidi attempting to convince me that an engagement ring should cost four times a person’s monthly wage before she proposed. Her ring wasn’t expensive, but I believe she was pleased.
Craig, who wed in Leeds in 2014 and honeymooned in Jamaica, would have preferred to have kids right away.
He smiled, “But Heidi was eager to travel, so we did what she wanted. “I’m happy we did; it was fantastic.
“Isabella was born in Australia, where we traveled for six weeks.
“We took a private plane to the stunning Fraser Island and saw the ballet at the Sydney Opera House, which Heidi loved.
In December 2016, the day before Craig’s brother’s wedding, Heidi experienced a “weird” feeling.
Craig recalls, “She just said she felt uncomfortable.” “So we both took a pregnancy test, and she was.
We had planned to keep it a secret, but when she abstained from alcohol at the wedding, everyone noticed because ordinarily she was the one to suggest rounds of Jägermeister.
Thrilled, the couple began making preparations for the baby, including painting the room together.
Craig stated that Heidi created it. She hung artwork and was really inventive.
“Now that I know she’s gone and that Isabella is also gone, it hurts to go in there.
But mother and daughter are and always will be together.
The Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Andy Haynes, the medical director, said: “This is very heartbreaking, and our sympathies are with Mr. Renton at this difficult time.
“Mom arriving at A&E critically ill was a rare occurrence. I am aware that the members of our A&E team and the entire hospital that came to care for her in A&E tried everything they could to preserve both her and her unborn child’s lives and were very saddened by their passing.
“We don’t think there’s anything further we could have done. As a result, we’ve stayed in touch with Mr. Renton and will keep helping him and his family through this, which we know is a very trying time.
“Once more, let me express our sincere sympathies to Mr. Renton.”