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Plaistow mother-of-two dies after three year coma struggle

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 January 2013

Father Bilal Ahmed with Mugtabaa Mohammed Ahmed, seven, and Bakhtawar Bilal, four.

Father Bilal Ahmed with Mugtabaa Mohammed Ahmed, seven, and Bakhtawar Bilal, four.

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A family are grieving over the loss of their “generous” mother this week who died after a heroic three-and-a-half-year struggle for life.

Sobia Bilal receiving a certificate from Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales for completing a council course.Sobia Bilal receiving a certificate from Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales for completing a council course.

Father-of-two Bilal Ahmed described his wife Sobia - who passed away in Newham University Hospital on January 14 aged 29 - as “generous, she used to volunteer a lot of her time to helping out at the Sure Start nurseries supporting vulnerable families.”

Doctors found fluid on Sobia’s brain while she was in hospital for slipped discs in her back in 2008 and she fell into a coma after contracting meningitis following an operation.

A year ago, Sobia was transferred to St Joseph’s Hospice but she miraculously began to show minor responses by opening her eyes and crying causing the family to “build up hope” before she caught a chest infection on January 6 and died just over a week later of pneumonia.

Sobia leaves behind a son, Mugatabaa Mohammad, seven, and a daughter Bakhtawar, four, who had less than a year with her mother in full health.

Bilal told the Recorder: “Bakhtawar saw the other children at the school gates calling out to their mummies and she turns to me and calls me mummy as well as daddy.

“They ask whether we are going to see mummy but I have been explaining to them God brings life into the world which also means he can take it away, it was his will that she went.”

All through the tragedy, Bilal was the sole carer of his children. At the peak of Sobia’s illness, Bilal would take his children to school, sit with Sobia in the hospice, then return to make his children dinner before taking them to see her in the evening.

The three Ahmeds currently sleep together in a one-bed flat in Queen’s Terrace, Plaistow - prompting Bilal to write to his local MP Lyn Brown to improve his housing conditions.

He said: “I don’t know if this seems an appropriate time to say this but it makes you appreciate all the services that my wife used to volunteer for. “Trying to get a more suitable home with all this, it is very difficult.”


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