IT was meant to be one of the happiest days of her life – yet for one mum it almost ended in death.
Fiona Christie, 39, nearly died giving birth to her daughter, Rosa, after a complication prompted a major postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) and saw her lose an astonishing 15 litres of blood.
Yet tomorrow she will run the Edinburgh Marathon in support of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), helping to raise money for its global health projects which work to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. This includes such haemorrhages which are the leading causes of maternal deaths – of which there are more than 540,000 every year.
Fiona, from Corstorphine, said: “When I suffered my postpartum haemorrhage, I was very fortunate to be in a fantastic hospital with experienced surgeons, sterile equipment and a plentiful supply of clean, safe blood. Not all women are so lucky.
“For many women around the world, becoming pregnant is a potential death sentence. Many of these deaths are preventable with simple, affordable interventions.”
Fiona gave birth in 2009 and spent days many gruelling days in intensive care.
She said: “I couldn’t breathe on my own, let alone get out of bed. It took me a long time to build up my strength so that I was able to run again. Taking part in the marathon shows just how far I have come.
“We are so lucky in the UK to have access to excellent pre and postnatal care from the NHS.
“I am so grateful for the fantastic care I received that night, and in the days and weeks following Rosa’s birth.
“Raising money for the RCOG, to support its work in developing countries, is my way of giving something back.”
Mr Hani Fawzi, vice president of global health for the ROCG, added: “It is wonderful news that Fiona will run the Edinburgh Marathon in support of our global health work.
“Her fundraising efforts will help the RCOG in its ambition to enable quality and timely health care for women globally. I wish Fiona the best of luck!”
The RCOG campaigns to supporting women’s health care across the world.
The RCOG Centre for Women’s Global Health has developed projects in emergency obstetric care, essential gynaecological management, family planning, abortion and post-abortion care which it says puts a strong focus upon enabling women to achieve their human right to lead healthy lives.
The college also advocates for women and girls to be free from gender-based violence, including child marriage, and to end devastating and preventable birthing injuries such as obstetric fistula.
Now in its 15th year the Edinburgh Marathon, which starts in London and Regent Road before passing by the historic Holyrood Palace, is the second largest in the UK behind London, attracting 30,000 runners to the city.
It has sold out every year since 2008 with participants having raised over £30 million for hundreds of charities since 2003.