Tuesday, 13 January 2009


A champion ice-skater gave birth to a child two days after she collapsed and died from a brain haemorrhage.
Jayne Soliman, 41, who was 25 weeks’ pregnant, was declared brain dead by doctors, but her body was kept alive by a life support machine so that the girl, her first child, could be born safely.
Medical staff laid tiny Aya Jayne on her mother’s shoulder “so she could have a moment with her”, before she was transferred to an intensive care unit because of her small size. Her death was completely unexpected as she appeared to be in good health, but afterwards it emerged that she had an aggressive brain tumour which had struck a major blood vessel.
Mrs Soliman, from Bracknell, Berkshire, who was a British champion and rose to No 7 in the world in 1989, had been ice-skating on the day she died, 7 January. Returning home, she complained of a headache and collapsed in her bedroom. She was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but by 8pm she was dead.
In order to save the child’s life, Mrs Soliman was kept alive and given large doses of steroids to help the baby’s lungs develop. Aya Jayne was delivered by Caesarean section at 2.34pm on 9 January, weighing just 2lb 1oz.
Her Egyptian-born husband, Mahmoud Soliman, 29, a business studies student, said: “In the space of 48 hours I have experienced joy at the birth of my child and endured torment over losing my wonderful wife. The two things she always wanted were a loving husband and a child. “I know she fought with all her might to keep our child alive, but it breaks my heart to know that she will never know Aya
Jayne. I can’t believe my little daughter has survived. I look at her and she reminds me so much of her mother.”
A friend, Lucine Phillips, who was there when Aya Jayne was born “kicking and wriggling”, said it was hard to describe the emotions of the moment. “I was elated with the new life that had just come into the world, but in the same instant it was so sad to think that Jayne was never going to see her beautiful baby.” She added that when Mr Soliman “was finally allowed to hold her, his face was full of emotion”.
More than 300 people attended Muslim-convert Mrs Soliman’s funeral at the Jamia Masjid mosque in Reading on Saturday.