A mother from Radlett, whose husband died suddenly when she was just five months pregnant, has raised more than £2,000 for Watford General Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.
When Rebekah Habib’s husband Gulam passed away, she had little time to grieve for the loss of the man she described as her "soulmate".
Four months after his death, a problem with her umbilical cord meant Mrs Habib would have to give birth to her daughter Sorayah by emergency Caesarean section.
The problem was discovered at a routine midwife's appointment, and as it would have affected the baby’s oxygen supply, Mrs Habib was immediately taken to intensive care at Watford General Hospital.
The 27-year-old said: "Once they got my baby out they were shocked to see how small she was, weighing just 3lbs 5oz as a 36-week-baby is on average 5lb 6oz.
"I was assured that it was nothing to do with me, and it was just down to stress. I had a well baby although she was extremely small."
Doctors suggested the stress of losing her husband, who she met at the age of 14, to a blood disorder the day before her 20-week scan could have brought on the problem.
She said: "The feeling when you meet your child is overwhelming, I felt so helpless not being able to hold her.
"When she opened her eyes, I could see her father’s eyes and she has his golden smile.
"I was looked after so well by the hospital, they gave me such help and support - they taught us how to feed our babies and change their nappies. They really made it such a positive experience
after having such a negative one."
In order to give back to the hospital after all the support she had, Mrs Habib decided to hold a fundraising event – a Family Fun Day at the Westfield Children’s Centre in Watford.
She had set herself a fundraising target of £2,000, but has exceeded this by more than £1,000.
Along with another mother, Mrs Habib established a new group called HertsPrems to raise as much money as possible to buy an incubator, oxygen and IV drips plus other supplies for the Special Care
Baby Unit at Watford General Hospital.
Even now, donations are still coming in.
At the event children were entertained with a bouncy castle, ‘Hook the Duck’, Clowns and face painting. There were also craft stalls and dance displays.
Mrs Habib said: "The sun even shone for us. I cannot believe how much we raised and thanks to everyone for coming and supporting us.
"A special thanks to the Westfield Centre. It has kindly donated us its premises to us for future fund raising events.
"I am overwhelmed by how kind everyone has been. I know my husband would have been very proud."
To donate visit: http://www.justgiving.com/HertsPrems.