Heavily pregnant nurse, 28, who died of Covid after giving birth felt 'pressured' to work on frontline, inquest told

A HEAVILY pregnant nurse who died of Covid after giving birth felt "pressured" to work on the frontlines, an inquest heard today.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, 28, had been working up until March 12 last year – with her husband revealing she had been worried about the deadly bug.

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A coroner heard today the mum was admitted to hospital at 35 weeks pregnant with breathing difficulties on April 5 last year.

 She was briefly discharged – but just two days later, on April 7, she was readmitted with coronavirus symptoms.

After delivering her baby girl by caesarean section, Mrs Agyapong was rushed to intensive care, but despite the efforts of medics, she died on April 12.

Today her widower Ernest Boateng told Bedfordshire and Luton Coroner's Court his wife, a sister at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, worked on the wards until March 12.

She was then signed off with back problems – but continued to go to hospital for medical appointments.

Mr Boateng said Mrs Agyapong continued to work at the start of the pandemic, but was "very concerned about the situation involving Covid-19".

"When she came home from work, she would take her clothes off at the front door and take a shower immediately," he said.

"She was very worried about bringing Covid into the home."

Mr Boateng said his wife also began sleeping in the spare room at the family home to protect her husband and their son, AJ.

"She told me the staff were very scared about the virus because they were on the front line and likely to come into contact with Covid-19 patients," he said.

"I wanted her to stay at home. But due to high demand at the hospital, she had to continue working.

"She tried to reassure me that everything would be okay but I could understand she was anxious and panicking deep down."

Mr Boateng said he strongly believed his wife, who was originally from Ghana, contracted coronavirus while at work.

He said: "My understanding is Mary was being pressurised to get back to work, as she had meetings about her sickness records earlier that year."

He said Ms Agyapong "struggled" with her second pregnancy and "continued to work long, 12-hour shifts".

"She found it very tiring and difficult," he said.

Mr Boateng said he was not allowed onto the maternity ward to be with his wife when she gave birth to their daughter on April 7 and described the huge impact of her death on the family.

He said: "What was supposed to be a happy moment in our lives quickly changed into a traumatic and painful loss.

"Every day my children have to deal with the loss of their mother and I feel helpless when AJ asks when he can see his mother again."

A preliminary cause of Mrs Agyapong's death has been given as Covid and pneumonia.

The hearing continues.

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