A young mother who tested positive for Covid-19 along with her baby boy just a day after giving birth has shared her joy after both battled back from the disease.
Raneen Abu Zaher, 28, was only able to see and hold her newborn son, Jad, two weeks after he was born after both contracted the virus on April 8.
Mother and son were both immediately placed in separate isolation at an Abu Dhabi hospital.
Jad received treatment at a separate neonatal unit as he was born with a congential heart disorder which also required him to be constantly monitored.
“It was one of the hardest experiences a mother could go through. I was alone without my family and could not even see my baby,” said Ms Zaher, from Palestine.
“When the doctors first told me that we both tested positive, I couldn’t stop crying.
"I was in shock and immediately started worrying about the baby and my other kids at home.
"My husband was the only one with me at the hospital but he then went home to the kids.”
Ms Zaher has two other children aged eight and six. They both tested negative for the virus.
“We had never left the house and I had no symptoms,” she said.
However, the hospital routinely tests all patients for the virus.
“I was sure that the test would come out negative. We are constantly sanitising everything in the house and no one leaves unless necessary.”
Ms Abu Zaher is a homemaker and her husband runs his own contracting company.
After testing positive, she remained four days at the hospital but was later transferred to a quarantine hotel where she remained for three days until a second test showed that she was negative.
Her son has also since tested negative but remains at the hospital while his health is monitored.
“Psychologically, Covid-19 takes over your life. You start being paranoid and worrying whenever you touch anything. I don’t even come close to my kids anymore and push them away when they come to me for a hug.”
Despite her fears, she said she never lost faith she and her son would win their fight against the virus.
“I had faith in God. I had faith that me and my son would get through this and it is this faith and positive spirit that will get you through this,” she said.
Jad is due to be discharged from hospital on Wednesday.
“At the hospital, I had nurses coming to check on me regularly and meals brought to me but it was not having my family around and not being able to see my baby that was the hardest,” she said.