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The doctor (not the same one who had diagnosed a slipped disc) took one look at my poor sick wife - weak, exhausted and by now nursing a swollen arm and leg - and called an ambulance.It was in A&E, having ruled out various kinds of blood clot, that the doctors started to use the word 'infection' and gave the first indication that Jessica would have to go to Intensive Care. And there, suddenly, propped up on a trolley, was my Jessica again - normal colour, sparkling eyes, a smile on her face, desperate to know how Harry was, how Emily was, how I was.For months after Jessica's death, the look of sheer relief on Harry's face that greeted me every time I came home through the front door was almost overwhelming.My presence reassured him and his presence - and that of his lovely little sister - has reassured me.Sometimes it's been sent to me - as a sort of honorary, stand-in Mum - in which case I'll be as pleased as punch and make sure it finds a good place on our already crowded kitchen wall.But at other times, Harry addresses it to his real mum, Jessica, and then delivering the card becomes more difficult.I don't want any family to go through what we have been through, and I don't want any more fit, healthy young women like Jessica to die so needlessly.
You see, what Harry isn't yet old enough to understand is that if Jessica's post-natal blood poisoning had been diagnosed early enough, she would probably be alive and well, and tomorrow she'd be getting the best Mother's Day breakfast-in-bed that a father and his two small children could manage.It was far from the last time that it would let poor Jessica down.There was the community midwife who was too busy to visit, even when I rang her and told her that Jessica's temperature had got close to 40C (104F) on her first night home. Then there was the GP whom Jessica rang herself on the morning of the fourth day and who diagnosed a slipped disc over the phone.Right now, Harry, my five-year-old son, will be somewhere in the house drawing a Mother's Day card - Mummy on her bike is one of his favourite subjects.Based on the experience of the past couple of years, there's a 50-50 chance as to which parent it will be addressed to.