Sadie Exley was just 24 when she was suddenly left brain dead by a blood clot after catching Covid – fortunately doctors were able to save her unborn baby, but her dad believes she could have survived with a coronavirus vaccine
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The grieving father of a “fit and healthy” young mum who suddenly died while 29 weeks pregnant said medics revealed she would still be alive if she “had taken the vaccine”.
David Exley, 57, said his daughter Sadie, 24, had a “hunky-dory” pregnancy with no complications until she suddenly started suffering from migraines and chest pain.
But following tests at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield in October this year, the mum-of-two was diagnosed with a blood clot in her lung.
After catching Covid in late November, her condition deteriorated and a week later she was rushed to St James Hospital in Leeds when she became paralysed on one side, ExaminerLive reports.
She was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary and rushed to the intensive care unit where she was pronounced brain dead after suffering a brain haemorrhage on December 3.
Thankfully, doctors were able to save tiny Elliot who was delivered by emergency C-section at 29 weeks weighing just 2.1lbs.
Heartbroken David, from Birstall, said: “I got the news over the phone, it was just sheer panic. I drove straight to the hospital.
“I don’t know how to describe how I felt. My head was a shed.
“I didn’t eat for days, I was just waiting to know if she was going to be better.
“They tried to save her but it was apparent that we had lost Sadie.
“They saved baby Elliot but they couldn’t save our Sadie.”
David said “alarm bells started ringing” when Sadie started to complain of chest pains and migraines two months ago and was diagnosed with a blood clot.
But he was shocked when doctors sent her home with blood-thinning injections.
Sadie was living with her mum Jill Allen, 48, who was taking care of her along with David as she was in constant pain.
On November 24, Sadie caught Covid but had no symptoms and doctors reassured the family that she was “alright”.
David said: “She caught Covid while healthy, and Covid does a lot of things. It works on your weaknesses within your body.
“What Covid did is stimulate the red blood cells to produce little clots.
“Over time they got bigger and bigger and bigger.
“She was getting symptoms for a month and then a blood clot in her brain caused a bleed by then it was too late.”
At the time Sadie wasn’t vaccinated.
David said: “When everything happened, we spoke to the consultant.
“I asked him honestly if she had the jab when she could have had it, and he said he couldn’t say 100% but he thought she’d still be here.”
In early December, Sadie decided to return home from her mum’s as she was due for a scan with her midwife in the morning.
But in the early hours of December 2, Sadie woke up numb on one side and fell before being left paralysed on the floor until around 8am when an ambulance arrived.
The young mum died the following day and David and Jill were allowed to say their final goodbyes to Sadie.
The electrician said: “We were allowed to go in and say goodbye and she was in her own little room. They had done an operation on her head, her head was completely shaved.
“Her injuries were not nice, but at least we got to say goodbye to her.
“We never expected anything like this in a million years. She was fit and healthy.”
Doctors told David that even if Sadie had regained consciousness, she would likely never be herself again due to the damage to her brain.
He said he felt “sadness” but also “relief” as he didn’t want her to live like that for the rest of her life.
David added: “The main thing was they were trying to save Elliot.”
Thankfully tiny Elliot has recovered well and is a “fighter just like his mum” according to David.
Single-mum Sadie is survived by her tiny tot Elliot and her two-year-old daughter Harper, with David adding that he will make sure the pair “know everything about her”.
He said: “Harper keeps asking us to ring mum so she hasn’t grasped what happened, and probably never will and Elliot will never know her.
“But we will make sure he hears stories about her. Apart from actually meeting her, they’ll know everything about her.”
Paying tribute to Sadie, David said she was a “fantastic mum and dancer” who was not just his daughter but his best friend.
He said: “She was a really fun girl, she always had a laugh. We were father and daughter, but we were good mates.
“She was always daft as a brush. She was so much fun. And she was a fantastic mum.
“She was independent, and she took everything in her stride.
“She danced from when she was three and danced her whole life. She was a fantastic dancer.
“She studied dance in college and absolutely loved it, and she danced at Euro Disney in Paris when it first opened. It was a highlight of her career.”
Sadie’s funeral is set to take place on January 7.
Her work colleagues at B&M in Batley closed the store when they learned of her passing, and have since set up a fundraiser to help the family – click here to donate.