Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Baby girl born to 'dead' mother

Jayne Soliman
Jayne (centre) with two friends on holiday Photo: Solent News

An ice-skating star's baby has been born two days after she collapsed and died from a brain haemorrhage, a hospital has confirmed.

Doctors at Oxford's John Radcliffe hospital kept Jayne Soliman's heart beating until they had delivered her baby daughter Aya Jayne on Friday.

Baby Aya was born prematurely at 25 weeks by Caesarean section weighing just over 2lb.

She is now being cared for by doctors at Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The baby's father Mahmoud Soliman, 29, is reported to have said: "It was Jayne's one true wish to be a mum. She would have been a great mum. In the space of 48 hours I have experienced joy at the birth of my child and endured torment over losing my wonderful wife."

Although exceedingly rare, this is not the first time a baby has been kept alive in the womb of a dead mother.

In 1999, a boy was born at Cabuenes hospital in Gijon, northern Spain, on New Year's Eve to a mother who had been clinically dead since mid-November.

Tragic loss

Ms Soliman, 41 and a former member of the Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club in Southampton, Hants, competed in numerous international galas before taking up free skating professionally.

In 1989 she was both British champion and number seven in the world for professional free skating.

Ms Soliman had been healthy throughout her pregnancy and continued working as a coach at Bracknell Skating Club. She went on the ice last Wednesday before she collapsed at home after complaining of a headache.

She was flown by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital, but hours later was declared brain dead.

Doctors believe the skater had suffered from a haemorrhage caused by an aggressive tumour which had struck a major blood vessel.

Ms Soliman was given large doses of steroids to help her baby's lungs develop, and within 48 hours she gave birth to Aya, whose name is a word from the Koran meaning "miracle".

The National Ice Skating Association website pays tribute to Jayne saying she was a long standing and very popular member of the Southampton Ice Dance & Figure Skating Club.

Fellow skater Abbie Baldwin, who was coached by Jayne, said: "It's absolutely devastating. She was the happiest person you could ever wish to meet.

"None of us can wait long enough to tell Aya exactly what her mum was like."

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