A MUM and her newborn baby have both died in a desperately sad double tragedy.
The deaths happened after 29-year-old Angharad Matthews - who suffered from a life-threatening illness called lupus - became ill during her pregnancy.
Doctors had to deliver her daughter, Flora, at just under 26 weeks old at Leeds General Infirmary last Friday evening.
Although the caesarean operation seemed to go well, Angharad's condition worsened on Saturday morning and she died suddenly.
Flora survived a further 24 hours before losing her battle for life.
Angharad and husband, Ian, also have a three-year-old son, Charlie.
The family moved from Scissett to Skelmanthorpe two years ago.
Ian said: "Angharad was everything to me. She had sent me a text at 6.55am on Saturday morning to give me an update on Flora.
"I was asleep at the time and woke up at 7.20am and read the message - just as I lost Angharad."
The hospital phoned to say he had to go in immediately and when he arrived the terrible news was broken by consultant obstetrician Nigel Simpson.
Mr Simpson had cared for Angharad during both pregnancies and Ian cannot praise him more highly.
Ian said: "Mr Simpson was so fond of Angharad.
"He used to say that when she was in the hospital everyone felt better simply for talking to her. She was that kind of person.
"Angharad had been treated at LGI for the last 10 years and all the staff there were absolutely fantastic in every department."
The hospital also has a special lupus unit. Around 50,000 people across the UK suffer from lupus - and 90% of them are women.
Ian added: "It had been a tough pregnancy for Angharad from the start, but she was determined to carry on with it to give the baby the best possible chance."
Angharad had kidney problems, but doctors were not sure if they had been caused by the lupus or the pregnancy.
During the final week of the pregnancy she was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary. Last Friday, medical staff realised the baby's heart was having to work too hard, so after close discussions with Angharad and Ian the decision was made to do a caesarian section on Friday evening - but the couple knew Flora's chances of survival were slim.
She weighed just 1lb.
Ian said: "Flora had to be resuscitated immediately after she was born and was then put onto a ventilator.
"We took Angharad in a wheelchair to see her on Friday night so at least she had chance to see her daughter."
There was no hint of the tragedy to come hours later.
Ian said: "Staff told me Angharad was laughing and joking first thing on Saturday, but then she suddenly felt really ill."
The early indications are that she died from heart failure.
Flora battled hard on Saturday and was stable, but around midnight her condition began to deteriorate and once again the hospital had to call Ian.
She was alive when he arrived, but staff told him there was no chance she would survive.
He chose to hold his tiny daughter for her last moments.
Charlie does not fully understand what has happened, but Ian said he asked for his mummy one night.
He said: "Charlie said he wanted to talk to his mummy and I said I wanted to talk to her too.
"But I told him that although we couldn't see her, we could still talk to her."
Angharad's mum, Catherine Williams, said: "Angharad was so bright and funny, bringing out the best in people. No matter what she went through with lupus, she never felt sorry for herself."
The former Holmfirth High School pupil met Ian - a percussion teacher with Leeds Music Support Service now known as Artforms - while both were playing percussion for a production of Kiss Me Kate in Wakefield.
They married eight years ago. Brave Angharad was determined lupus would not rule her life.
She formed Holmfirth singing group Vocal Expressions with her mum which has raised thousands of pounds for the Yorkshire Lupus Group.
She spoke out about living with the illness in an Examiner feature last year.
In it she revealed that she first discovered she had lupus in 1996 when she was studying A-levels at Greenhead College.
On New Year's Day that year she woke up with a sore wrist. Within days several more joints had swollen up and months later a specialist told her she was suffering from lupus.
Angharad had described lupus as a cross between ME and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is called lupus after the Latin for wolf - some sufferers are left with marks which look like they have been scratched or bitten by wolves.
Lupus is a condition that attacks the body's own immune defences.
This constant battle causes overwhelming tiredness.
Angharad needed to rest each afternoon and was given wonderful support from her parents, Catherine and Len, who help care for Charlie.
They live in Scissett.
An inquest into Angharad's death was opened at Wakefield Coroners Court yesterday. The hearing was adjourned for further medical tests.
The joint funeral for Angharad and Flora will be held at St John's Church in Upperthong tomorrow at 1pm.
Donations from the service will go to Yorkshire Lupus and the special care baby unit at the LGI.
The service will be followed by cremation at Grenoside Crematorium North Chapel near Sheffield.