Mahmoud Soliman experienced the biggest heartbreak of his life when his daughter was born. He lost the most precious person to him.
Jayne Soliman, who became Great Britain's figure skating champion in 1989, worked as a figure skating teacher in Abu Dhabi when she met Egyptian-born Law graduate Mahmoud Soliman. The pair started as friends and developed deeper feelings for each other as they spent more time together.
After a couple of months, Mahmoud asked her if she would consider marrying him. Surprised and concerned about their age difference, Jayne did not give him a definite answer until two weeks later when the former champion told him she would.
[Left] Picture of Aya Jayne; [Right] Picture of Mahmoud Soliman with his dauhter Aya | Source:facebook.com/david.j.phillips.94 | facebook.com/FawazEddin
Jayne converted to Islam and changed her name to Aya Jayne, which means "miracle," before the pair officially tied the knot in April 2007. Later, the couple moved to Britain, and Mahmoud started studying for a business master's degree while Jayne worked as a coach at Bracknell Skating Club.
With Jayne being 12 years older than Mahmoud, the pair decided they wanted to have a child as soon as possible.
Their first attempt resulted in heartbreak after the figure skater had a miscarriage, but the sadness did not last long because she got pregnant two months later.
The couple was still concerned because they were unsure how this second pregnancy would turn out. After about a month, they were relieved when they heard their child's heartbeat during a scan.
They would sing to the baby every day and even nicknamed her Sparky whenever she kicked. Jayne and Mahmoud were both excited and looking forward to the day the child would be born.
JAYNE SUDDENLY FALLS SICK
Twenty-five weeks into the pregnancy, Jayne came home sick from work. She complained to her husband about having a headache and cradled her head in her hands.
Not long after, she vomited on the floor, and Mahmoud went into the kitchen to get her a glass of water. Jayne's husband was still in the kitchen when he heard a loud thud. He called out to his wife, expecting to hear her laugh, but instead, he found her collapsed on the floor when he returned upstairs.
Mahmoud thought Jayne was having a fit or something pregnancy-related, so he subsequently tried to lift his wife. She lovingly called him by his nickname, and with what turned out to be the last words he would hear from his loving wife, she said:
"Moody Shmoody, don't hurt your back."
MAHMOUD'S HEARTBREAK AND JOY
After Jayne collapsed, she was transported to the John Radcliffe Hospital by air. After a scan, it was revealed that the mother-to-be had suffered a brain hemorrhage.
The bleeding resulted from an undetected cancerous brain tumor that had ruptured a blood vessel. Unfortunately, the doctors could do nothing to save her because Jayne was already brain dead.
Even though there was nothing they could do to save the mother, the child, on the other hand, had a chance to survive if they could keep Jayne's heart beating for two more days.
The doctors would pump her body full of steroids so their baby's lungs could grow stronger, which would take her survival rate to well above 50%. This process was also dependent on if Jayne's heart could keep going because sometimes the bodies of people on life support give up.
Even though she was dead, her body kept fighting on, and two days later, their baby girl was delivered via Caesarean section. Jayne was disconnected from life support, and shortly after, her heart stopped beating.
The baby, who weighed just over two pounds, was subsequently placed in an incubator. Before the tragic event, the couple had agreed on naming the child Ali if it was a boy or Maggie for a girl. However, Mahmoud decided the baby's name had to be Aya Jayne in memory of her mother.
His late wife's funeral was held a week later, and speaking at the event, Jayne's friend and colleague, David Phillips, confessed:
"To Jayne, becoming a mother was the best thing in the world that could have happened to her. She was so happy; she had always wanted to be a mom more than anything else. She lived to have a baby girl - that was the one thing she wanted in her life."
On his part, Mahmoud explained that the hours between his wife's death and the birth of their child were the most heartbreaking of his entire life. Also, he could not wait for their baby to grow up so he could tell her about Jayne. He declared:
"I will tell her what a lovely, lovely mum she had who would have loved her so much."
However, Mahmoud understood he needed to be strong for their daughter because he was all the little girl had.
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