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Thursday 27 April 2017

Best friend tells of plans to raise children together

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THEY had the same due date and they planned to raise their children together.

But instead of sharing the joy of motherhood together, the best friend of Savita Halappanavar held her hand as the young woman died.

Devastated Shilpa Rose is expecting a baby on the same date as Savita was due to have her little girl.

The two women had been excitedly sharing stories of their pregnancies, and they were looking forward to bringing up their children together in Galway.

"She was my closest friend and she was so excited about her first pregnancy," Shilpa told the Irish Independent.

"It is my second pregnancy but we were looking forward together, we had the same due date.

"This is such a massive loss for us. We could never have expected this."

For Shilpa, who is also a dentist, the final days are still difficult to talk about. The 31-year-old was 17 weeks pregnant when she died at Galway University Hospital on October 28.

"I was at the ICU since the Friday night. I was next to her, holding her hand when she passed away.

"It was very, very traumatic," she recalled.

"The doctors in the ICU were really good. They did everything they could.

"Savita was on three different antibiotics at the end, but her kidneys failed on Saturday afternoon."


Despite her grave condition, those closest to Savita were convinced until the very end that she would pull through and would walk out of the hospital.

"We didn't give up, we kept fighting because Savita would have kept fighting.

"That was the type of person she was. I remember saying to Praveen, 'Savita will fight this, she won't give up'.

"It was a shock when she died, I didn't expect it," said Shilpa.

Savita's closest friends were all given the opportunity to say their goodbyes to the young woman.

"People came in to see her in turns, the ICU staff were very understanding," added her close friend.

Another of Savita's closest friends was too upset to talk about her final days, but spoke of losing a friend who was like a sister.

Savita and Praveen were godparents to his 18-month-old son Prathik – an honour usually reserved for family members.

"It is tradition that the mother's sister and family feed the first solid food to the baby. Praveen and Savita did that for us. They were our family here," said Sunil Koppuri.

Savita's husband Praveen brought her body back to her native India where a Hindu funeral service was held and she was cremated.

Irish Independent

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