A MUM has revealed how she became widowed and lost her baby in just seven months – after both succumbed to heart problems.
Claire Delaney, 37, from Bolton, is now urging Brits to have the new checks offered by GPs and pharmacies in the war against heart disease.
Claire’s husband Colin had surgery to replace the mitral valve in his heart just a week before she found out that she was pregnant with their second child.
With Colin, an accounts manager, on the mend, it seemed that the couple had everything to look forward to.
But things soon took a turn for the worse.
Three months after his surgery, in May 2008, Colin became seriously unwell as he opened their bedroom curtains.
He fell back on to the bed and said that he couldn’t “get any air in” – before vomiting up blood as their son Cameron, then three, looked on.
Just hours later Colin was dead. He had developed an infection around his heart and the valve had come away. He was just 29.
Claire was left a widowed at three months pregnant with a young son to care for.
Claire gave birth to a daughter, Gabrielle, that October and said that the birth gave her “something to hang onto” in the months prior.
However, just four days after Gabrielle was born, she was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome – meaning only half her heart was working.
The baby girl, who weighed just six pounds, needed a transplant but she wasn’t strong enough.
Gabrielle was taken to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital where surgeons tried to insert a balloon in her aortic valve to give her a better chance at survival – but tragically this didn’t work.
Claire told the Sunday Mirror: “Doctors said there was very little they could do. I couldn’t…