A premature baby whose mother died just hours after giving birth to her has finally left the hospital.
Imogen Petrak was 36 weeks pregnant when she suffered an ear infection that caused catastrophic brain swelling earlier this month.
The 35-year-old underwent an emergency C-section and gave birth to daughter Eleanor, four weeks premature, but didn’t survive herself.
Now, her husband and widower John Petrak has taken baby Eleanor home from Gold Coast University Hospital.
Imogen Petrak (pictured left with her husband and young son) tragically passed away this month after being taken to hospital with an ear infection
John Petrak has taken baby Eleanor home from Gold Coast University Hospital after the tragic loss of his wife
The courageous father-of-two has opened up on his battle to come to terms with with his crushing loss.
‘Imogen’s biggest dream was to see our daughter and she didn’t get to do that. We knew we were having a girl and she was just aching to see her. She had all her dresses picked out,’ he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Mr Petrak shed light on the bittersweet emotions that came when he welcomed his daughter into the world, hours before farewelling his wife.
‘The only way I can explain it was feeling every emotion at the same time. Worry, sadness, happiness, joy – everything all at once,’ he said.
Mr Petrak said he was grateful his eldest, 17-month-old JB, was too young to fully grasp the loss of his mother.
‘He actually pointed at a photo of his mum with a happy smile yesterday but he doesn’t know she’s gone … our first night home together it was just me and him and we just chased each other around the lounge (having fun). We’ve still got to live.’
Ms Petrak’s ear infection had travelled to her brain, causing severe swelling and she later suffered catastrophic brain damage
The courageous father-of-two has opened up on his battle to come to terms with with his crushing loss
Mr Petrak thanked his friends and family who have helped him through the shattering period.
A GoFundMe page set up by family friend Renee King to support the family has raised $110,000
Ms King paid a touching tribute to Ms Petrak on the page, telling of how she was loved by all who crossed her path.
‘She had the biggest heart and sweetest loving spirit, an incredible selfless mother and cherished wife,’ she said.
You can donate to the family here.