There are certain things in life that happen for a reason.
Why paths cross, why doors open and why some close, why we are lead to follow a dream. We meet people, we see them come and go..
And some we lose when we desperately want to hold onto them. But God knows best and knows what is right for us.
One of the very first people who personally messaged me on Facebook with regards to the water well campaign, was named Albina. She asked if she could name a water well in remembrance of her daughter, Medina. Albina had promised herself that every year she would give to the less fortunate, either a well or a goat in her daughter’s name. I was so overwhelmed with the request, I could not help but say yes to her enquiry and this lead her to share the story of Medina with me further… And with great strength, she let me also share this story with you.
Please be aware that the following was written by Albina herself, it left me with a heaviness in my throat and tightening in my chest as well as tears streaming down my face. As a mother it hit home hard, so I do suggest if you are going to read on, that you are ready for the same feelings to overcome you just like the ones I had the very first time I read it. It still sends chills down my spine and overwhelms me in sadness when I reread it again.
“I had a very big scare early in my pregnancy when the doctors said I had twin to twin transfusion, whereby one twin was receiving more blood and nutrients than the other and I had to have surgery at 20 weeks into my pregnancy in order to save my other twin baby, Amina. I was praying everyday that both my girls would be ok but never did I think that it would be Medina the stronger of the twins that I would lose in the end.
At 26 weeks into my pregnancy I had a massive bleed where my placenta tore away from my uterus and my heart just sank. I was rushed to hospital knowing that something was not ok, despite the doctors saying the twins were ok and their hearts were still beating.
The next day I had an ultrasound which showed Medina was limp and not active at all, that the bleed had forced a massive haemorrhage in her brain and I was to have an emergency caesarean within that hour. The most horrific hour of my life! Such a blur it was, I had doctors from all sides talking to me through the procedure and the epidural but all I could think of was how I was going to save my girls.
This could not be happening to me. How is it that someone so young could endure so much heartache in such a short period of time? I prayed throughout the whole spinal block and I remember very well the anaesthesist, who has the most beautiful green eyes, telling me that we were in the hands of Allah and to just look at him while we both prayed together.
The next thing I knew, the doctor had removed one twin and then the next. They both were taken away immediately to help resuscitate them. It was Medina, twin 1, and her beautiful smile that I first saw. A memory that will never be erased out of my eyes. I then saw Amina, twin 2, and I burst out crying, shocked that they were both alive. I was taken to recovery where I lost a lot of blood and had a massive blood transfusion to help keep me alive. At the same time Amina was having a blood transfusion too, as she was the twin that was depleted of blood and nutrients. It wasn’t till the next day that I was able to go and see my girls where I could only keep thanking Allah for having kept them here long enough for me to touch. In the incubators the girls were no bigger than the palm of my hand and so fragile. I was determined to start expressing milk to give them the best possible start to life.
The next day came with yet more heartache. I was told that Medina had a very slim chance of survival. The bleed on her brain was too severe for her to recover and that her organs would slowly die, in turn her lungs would collapse and she would stop breathing. They asked me turn off all life support at that time but I believed in miracles and it was due to a miracle that my girls were alive in the first place. So I said no. I wanted to see how she went.
Over the next week both girls had their ups and downs, endured many medications and blood transfusions in which kept them going and they both were actually doing very well. As a proud mother I promised there was nothing I wouldn’t do to make sure they had the best possible care. Medina was even taken to the next nursery along which was for children getting stronger and out of the danger zone.
Three days after being in this nursery her head started to swell and she had this grey colour to her. The doctors said she had taken a turn for the worst and the bleed was not getting smaller, causing her brain to fill with fluid. She needed to have surgery immediately to put a shunt in her head to drain this fluid. She yet again miraculously made it through the brain surgery. I was emotionally exhausted by now, jumping between two different hospitals to see both my girls. Amina in one hospital doing so well and Medina in another fighting for her life.
I read books to my girls every day and this made me happy. The fluid in Medina’s brain did not subside and thus causing her to have seizures, breathing difficulties and endure a lot of pain. The head of the children’s hospital sat myself and my husband down in a meeting stating the severity of Medina’s condition. Her body was fighting so hard causing her so much pain, that even on life support she would not survive long and because she was so small medication for pain would not have much effect on her. I still could not do it. Who was I to take the life away of something I fought so hard to keep alive and well?
I had to come in to see the girls and talk to the doctors for days as I was zoned out, not knowing where I was, what I was there for and what I was to do. I finally came to with a clear mind as if someone was guiding me with all strength possible to relieve my daughter of such pain. I was being selfish keeping her this way.
The doctors and nurses were so wonderful in setting up a plan that I wanted. I knew we couldn’t just let her die without me by her side. She fought so hard to stay strong for a whole month for me and now it was my turn to show her my strength. My wishes were to have her in a room with my husband and I, with medication to ease her pain and we would sing to her, read to her, bathe her and make her feel so much love until her last passing breath. We even managed to have a whole 24 hours with her off her ventilators and spent a night asleep with her before Yasin was read above her. She smiled so preciously and let a last breath out goodbye. It was the hardest moment of my life, yet I could not be more proud of her strength and the strength she enabled me to endure. Medina will stay in my thoughts and prayers forever and for the short time I had with her, I will repay a lifetime dedicating my love in her memory. Her sister Amina has overcome all obstacles and has reached all milestones alhamdulila and I know this is thanks to her sister… Her angel…”
Amina and Albina
Albina is a beautiful soul, she allowed me to share her story and also images of her family that she hasn’t even posted on social media. What an honour, I am so humbled for her to trust me with this! She said to me, “I would be more than happy for you to share our journey, if it can help at least one other family get through a difficult journey then I would be honoured to help.” I know Medina is a true reflection of her mother’s perfection. Allah (God) loves her more than we ever do and now she awaits her mother, father and sisters in heaven. Yes, I said sisters. Recently Albina gave birth to a healthy new baby girl, named Sumeja.
Isn’t she just beautiful?
Albina glowing in her pregnancy with Sumeja, with her husband by her side.
What I haven’t yet told Albina, is that I have organised a gift for her and her family. It is something so very small to say thank you for allowing me to share her story on my blog and for being so brave and strong to share it with everyone, especially with those who may have experienced losing a child. May your strength shine and may others be inspired by your story, to personally heal. It can never be easy and I cannot fathom how it must feel but maybe with support of those who have experienced it, together you can share and get through the heartache and the pain. So with sincere thank you Albina, I would like to gift you and your family a family photoshoot session by professional photographers at Premillume Photography. Please get in contact with them and they can assist you further in organising a time that will suit you best. You are in great hands, I have personally hired them before and their work is highly recommended! I wish you the very best for the future of your family, may you always be looked after, may your happiness increase a thousand fold, may you be rewarded for your kind heart and may Medina look over you all and be in your hearts forever.